Dairy Times News Paper- https://times.mw/  (Fazilla Tembo-Cobtributer)

Over 60 local entrepreneurs have benefited from Growth Accelerator Malawi program with technical skills, mentorship and risk capital grant of up to $40,000 each since its inception in 2018. mHub in partnership with Growth Africa are implementing the initiative with support from  Royal Norwegian Embassy and KfW through The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) .

mHub Communications Manager, Karen Manda Nyasulu said in an interview that the program targets youthful high impact revenue businesses looking to grow and scale. “When selected, we first equip them with various skills that are crucial in running, maintaining and sustaining their businesses,” she said.  Nyasulu added that most of the businesses have accelerated and have created jobs among youths.

One of the beneficiaries of the program, Ewan Phiri, Managing Director at SouthEast Group, manufacturers of Mkango Corn Puffs in Mangochi boasted of his company’s growth from the accelerator program. “We needed finances as well as trainings to accelerate our business and that was the aim of joining the program,” he said. Phiri said the organizations provided the much needed support of $40,000 grant which has been used to procure larger output corn processor, automatic packing machine, delivery van as well as construction of sanitation building. Previously, he said, the company was failing to reach the demand because the supply was very little.

Another beneficiary of the program, Hazzat Pillani of Balaka Limeworks Supply Company, said his company was slowly growing due to lack of funds and technical expertise in financial management.  “We have increased production of lime from the 10 metric tonnes to 40 metric tonnes per day,” he said. Pillani said the joining of the program has scaled up the business as the company has now purchased a bigger Boremill to process lime. He said: “This was a great relief to us because it has increased the capacity of production.” Pillani said they have increased their customer base with companies like Optichem, Alliance One, Press Agriculture and Poultry companies requesting for orders in large quantities. The company employs over 50 people and supports 40 small miners as well 300 women from the communities who sell lime stones to the factory.