Uchembere Wabwino Clinic renovates part of its facility into a laboratory

Uchembere Wabwino Maternity, a private clinic situated in Mzuzu, has renovated part of its facility to be used as a laboratory.

The Clinic’s Founder, Lucy Msukwa said the laboratory facility which has been supported with financial assistance from Growth Accelerator is a great milestone to the history of the clinic as it will offer many tests and other laboratory services to its clients. 

“The facility will be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment which will soon be purchased for use so that it offers good health care services to the people who visit to seek medical and lab care services,” she said.

Msukwa said the lab facility means that most laboratory services except the major ones will be offered right at the clinic.

She believed that more jobs will be created as the clinic will require technicians to run the laboratory.

She added that her clinic will use part of the grant to purchase a fully-fledged ambulance as the clinic uses an ordinary vehicle in times of emergency and other deliveries. 

“The ambulance will help to ferry emergencies especially pregnant women who are due for delivery to the clinic,” she observed. 

She further said they have also refurbished the wards to be more friendly to women who are coming to seek maternity care.

As the world is advanced with health care system, Msukwa said, the clinic does not want to remain behind. “We want to have an electronic application for health management information system to help in registering our clients electronically.”

She said the system will help to keep data of all patients safe unlike what they are doing now by registering and keeping the information for the clients manually.

In future, Msukwa said, the clinic is planning will buy more equipment like an Endoscopy machine to diagnose patients with internal problems at the clinic.

She said the whole of northern region does not have the machine as the one which was at Mzuzu Hospital got damage and people who need the services are often referred to Lilongwe or Blantyre.

Although expensive, she said, the machine is very useful as it is used to check one’s inside problems like tumors among others.

Msukwa also revealed her plans of having her own structure in the city.” We have already started raising funds from well-wishers to construct a good health facility which will carter for clients from northern region.”

She said the current facility will be maintained as it will continue to offer services to people who are around the area.

Msukwa said she opened the facility in 2019 after going through Demographic Health Survey (DHS) which indicated that there is high maternal and neonatal mortality rates.

 She said she was concerned with the high figures which were as high as 439 deaths per 100000 and 22 deaths per 1000 live births respectively.

Msukwa recalled that in the same year, there was a closure of Mzuzu Health Centre, a reliable health centre for people of Mzuzu which was under renovation for 18 months.

“Since I had already passion and an idea of starting a maternity clinic which was also to provide Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services,” She said.

Msukwa said she saw an opportunity to start a clinic at an affordable price because people were having challenges when they want to visit antenatal care and taking their Under-five children for growth monitoring.

She explained that the main reason of specializing in maternal area was that she lost her mother after she just gave birth to a brother due to complications. 

Said Msukwa, she had diabetes and the pregnancy made the condition worse until she died while giving birth. “I raised my brother and other siblings alone a situation which made me to think of doing something to save lives of women hence the idea.”

Uchembere Wabwino provides maternal services including safe delivery place, SRH, Growth Monitoring for Under-Five children and Immunization among others.

One of the clients, Tadala Katchona, 21 years from Katoto area, came with a 10-month-old baby for growth monitoring at the clinic. 

“Most of us who have under-five children prefer this place because their services are affordable and their time management is good as we don’t take long to seek for the services.”

Katchona expressed satisfaction with the services provided which she says are easy to access at the clinic.

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Earning a living through lime stone mining

A 72-Year-old Beatrice Manuka popularly known as Mayi Nyundo because of her long serving in the lime mining with her main tool, a hammer which she uses to break the stones.  

Nyundo in vernacular meaning a hammer.

Manuka hails from Group village Headman Sayenda, T/A Nsamala in Balaka DIstrict started her lime mining business in 1994 after discovering that the land in her area was no longer productive to give her food needed for the family.

She explained that before that time she was able to cultivate crops like maize, cowpeas, cowpeas, sweet potatoes to feed her family and the surplus for sale which was used to buy basic necessities like soap, salt, sugar and clothes.

“We were able to feed ourselves from what we were getting from the farm year in and year out up to recent years when we discovered that the soils in this area can no longer produce,” she said.

Despite adding some fertilizers to the soils of this area, still more nothing was cultivated until someone revealed that the area is full of lime deposits which makes it difficult to cultivate the desired yield , she explained.

Manuka recalled that a businessman by the name of Abdul Pillane opened their eyes and introduced to them to start lime mining and sell to improve their livelihoods instead of depending on farming alone. 

During that time, she said: “We started our mining and selling the lime stones to him since he was operating a lime factory and the only buyer for our products.”

Manuka further said the factory was buying the products from them in small quantities because the capacity for the factory to take in large quantities of the lime stone was still small. 

After hearing about the good news of lime mining, she said, vendors started flocking in with competitive prices of buying the lime stones and we turned to them unknowingly looking for better prices but they disappointed us because they started stealing from us in the name of selling on our behalf otherwise acting as the intermediate buyers on trust.

On trust because they could take the lime stones to go and sell to other buyers here in Malawi and others could them to as far as Zambia where lime stones are needed.

Manuka said sometimes it was working as others were bringing in the money but the majority of them were not coming back to give them and we could not follow them up.

“We got a sigh of relief when a son of Abdul Pillane, Hazratt continued from what his father left after he passed away. He regrouped us to supply the stones to his factory,” she said.

Manuka said they formed a group of 300 women (miners) who are doing the lime stone mining and supplying to Balaka Limeworks Supply Company (BLISCOL) directly.

Since Hazratt took over, there has been a change in terms of capacity because we can supply as many packets of like as possible and with good price in turn.

Manuka said she has been making gains from the lime stone mining which has helped her to be paying school fees for her grandchildren, feeding the family, buying a bicycle thereby improving her livelihoods.

In three months alone from April, May and June she managed to sell 300 packets and received K350,000 at once from the company.

Honestly, Manuka said, the lime stone mining has helped to improve my way of living as I’m planning to do maintenance of the house by roofing it with iron sheets, floor with cement, adding another one bicycle as well as buying equipment like wheelbarrow and shovels to be used in my mining works.

Lime stone extractor from the same area, Mussa Chipolopolo 45 years said he earns a living through lime stone extraction which he sells them to BLISCOL.

“From the money I get from lime extraction, I bought a bicycle, mattress and I’m able to buy basic necessities like cooking oil, sugar, salt and maize flour among others for my house,” he said.

Chipolopolo said his plans are to buy iron sheets to roof his house by the end of this year.

BLISCOL Managing Director, Hazratt Pillane said his company empowered the communities to do the mining and sell the stones to the factory.

“As a company, we make sure that we buy the lime stones from them at a good price as part of the social impact to the community,” he said.

The factory needs more materials like lime stones which can be locally sourced from the communities to increase its production because it is no longer the way it was in previous years as it was slowly growing due to lack of funds and technical expertise in financial management to do business. 

“Our business is growing as the production of lime has been increased from 10 to 40 metric tonnes per day hence the need for more lime stones to be used in the factory,” he said.

Pillane emphasized that the increase in production has been possible with a financial assistance from the Growth Accelerator (GA) which has been used to purchase a bigger Boremill to process lime in large quantity.

He added: “We have increased our customer base with more companies requesting for our products to be used in fertilizer, animal feeds and other usages.”

Pillane announced his plans to increase the capacity of his business further as more machines will be purchased for the expansion of the business ad be one of the major lime exporters.

As the business is expanding, he said, we will need more materials from the communities to be supplied to the factory.

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Apex procures state-of-the-art laboratory equipment

Procurement of high-tech laboratory equipment at Apex Medical Laboratories has helped to accelerate the business to another level.

The laboratory was co-founded by Kundai Moyo and her friend in 2017 but started its operationalization in 2018 with little start-up capital to purchase laboratory equipment for basic testing services.

Moyo recalled that they struggled to meet all the necessary requirements needed for a laboratory to fully operate as required by the Medical Council of Malawi (MCM).

“It took us almost a year to receive the first client seeking for our laboratory services at the Center when it was just starting,” she said.

Although the business was started, Moyo said, they did not have any background or training on how to run a medical laboratory business or any success business before.

While searching for funds to buy lab equipment, she said, they joined Growth Accelerator Malawi Challenge in 2019 following the advert which they came across.

“We were selected and joined in the first cohort. That was a breakthrough to our business which had challenges to get capital for equipment as well as to find clients for the services provided,” said Moyo.

She said joining the program was profitable because they had access to trainings which needed, they to have confidence in the business leadership and understand better, cost modules and value addition.

Moyo explained that they applied for $40,000 grant and $16,000 grant for Covid-19 window which they received to procure laboratory equipment like GeneXpert machine to help in Viral Load (VL) for Hiv and Aids clients.

“The machine was also used to test Covid-19 patients during the pandemic,” she said.

Other state-of-the-art machines procured using the financial support from the Accelerator program included Biosafety cabinet, Automate chemistry, Water testing, Auto Immune, Allergy testing, Hormone and Cancer Marker.

They also bought a motorcycle for courier services like home collection and delivery of results as most clients preferred to stay home than walking in to the center.

Moyo further said they bought a generator to back up power as most machines needed power throughout.

“With the unsustainable power experienced in the country, we thought of procuring a generator to make sure that equipment in our laboratory is running through out without power cuts,” she said.

Moyo said they have grown and expanded the business by opening the laboratory at Ginnery Corner in Blantyre.

Apex Medical Laboratory has created five professional jobs at its offices in Lilongwe and continue to employ more people at the new lab center in Blantyre.

A 25-year-old Tadala Chokhotho started her work at Apex Medical Laboratory after graduating from Malamulo Adventist University and joined the lab in June, 2021 as a Laboratory Technician.

She said the lab center has helped her to gain more experience and skills because she is now able to operate the equipment.

“We do different tests using automatic and modern equipment we use which the center purchased. This has led to quality and accurate results for clients,” she said.

Chokhotho said the lab receives more clients who come to do different tests like HIV Viral Load, Covid-19, hormonal tests among others.

She said the center has recorded more clients compared to previous years.  base has increased 

Chokhotho however commended Apex for considering youths like her and others for employment. 

Many young and skilled people continue to face unemployment, she said. “To some of us, this was a great opportunity to have a good job while others are still wondering looking for the same.”  

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Chatonda Lodge expands business with Growth Acceleretor

Located in Chintheche, Nkhata bay a resort district in northern region, Chatonda Lodge is a hospitality and tourism destination area which has recently expanded its business with support from Growth Accelerator under tourism window.

The Lodge opened its doors in 2009 in Mzuzu with six rooms but has now expanded to 31 rooms.

Mwiza Anderson Mtawali, the owner and Managing Director of the Lodge explained that a number of customers who experienced the hospitality at its Mzuzu place, requested for another lodge but to be located at the lakeshore.

In 2017, he said he managed to secure a land along the lakeshore where he constructed a beach lodge.

During the foundation stage, Mtawali said, they interacted with the community who have been helping where they could not afford like carrying the sand to the place of the construction.

The place where the land was given was very low, a situation which could have easily flooded by water from the lake, he said.

Mtawali said the community was very much involved to fill up the land so that construction can be made at least on a level higher than the lake.

Although using the community was expensive, he said, the business there was need to involve the community to be part and parcel of the lodge so that it is acceptable in the area.

“This made our construction works easy and cheap because of the good relationship with the community,” he said.

Mtawali said they have involved the people in the village from 2017 up to now because the construction is still going on.

While some of the buildings were finished, he noted that the loge needed reliable power.

 In 2018, Mtawali said he applied and paid to Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) to bring electricity to the lodge an amount of K20million for a distance of 750meters.

“On the other hand, we looked for solution to bring power to the lodge after noticing that the possibility of Escom to bring power was minimal,” he said.

Therefore, he said, the lodge opted for a solution of having solar energy. “After enquiring on costs to have solar power, we realized it was cheaper to have than Escom. 

Mtawali further said the cost of supplying solar energy to the area was coming at K8million, so many times cheaper as compared to the K20million which Escom charged.

“The time we installed solar that time, we did not have conference room and other facilities which needed much power supply,” he said.

Mtawali recalled that an opportunity rose where he saw an advert for Growth Accelerator mainly targeting people in the tourism industry in which he applied having in mind components like billing system. “Our billing system in both lodges were not computerized. This mean that when customer is checking in, they used manual to issue receipts, keeping records of stocks in the storeroom, as well as waiters were moving from one place to another taking orders.”

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Amazing Bakes purchases Industrial equipment to increase the capacity of products.

Amazing Bakes a family confectionary business founded by Mwawi and Grace Msiska is one of the eleven businesses accelerating in the fifth round of the Growth Accelerator Entrepreneurship Challenge.


Co-Founder of the business, Grace Msiska said they started the business way back mainly by baking scones, cakes, doughnuts and other confectioneries which were loved by people.

“From home we moved to town where we accommodated ourselves in a small shop only for selling the products but everything was done at home using domestic kitchen wares,” she said.

Msiska explained that the work was tough because even mixing the flour was done manually in the pots at home.

When the shop was opened in town, she said, we were overwhelmed by walk in customers who wanted snacks for offices, families as well as individuals.

Msiska added that there was demand for juices because most customers asked for drinks when they buy the products.

“We started selling the usual soft drinks but the idea of having our own natural juices came and we started making it but in small quantity because the challenge was that we were still using domestic wares,” she said.

As time went by, Msiska said, people started requesting to carry juice home for their families but at that time the company did not have that capacity to make more juices apart from few bottles sold in the shop.

The company embarked on a research to see the shelf life of the juice to increase production as well as the market. “We discovered that a lot of people loved our juices which come in different flavors therefore we went into full production.”

The juices have natural tastes if they are cooled because they are produced from natural fruits like strawberries, granadillas, guavas, mangoes and bananas among others which are sourced from local farmers, she said.

Msiska also discovered the process of making juices was almost similar to production of jam therefore started jam production to add on to confectioneries and juices.

The entrepreneur reiterated that the production of all her products were done manually and was labor intensive to come up with high quality and affordable products which are loved by many people.

With the coming in of Growth Accelerator, it was a blessing in disguise because all the company lacked was solved through the financial and technical support given to us, she said.

Msiska further said the program answered her many questions she had regarding on how to move forward to grow like other businesses.

The company needed industrial equipment such as pulper, mixing pot, colloid mill and a bottling machine to increase production and capacity of confectionary, juices and fruit jam.

Through the program, Msiska said, the company has managed to purchase all the equipment a development which has eased the workload.

The program has also helped to do some maintenances at its factory where the equipment will be planted for full time production, she said. 

A former secondary school teacher, Msiska said, that the mentorship program has also helped the company to grow its business because previously she could not keep the accounts records properly, manage the business, leadership, partnerships with other business, labor relations, customers and suppliers of fruits.

“The program has opened our eyes on things which were overlooked to accelerate our businesses. We have acquired full knowledge to better run the business,” she said.

Msiska said the company has created 12 jobs and will employ more women and men in the factory for production, packaging and distribution.

One of the workers, Faith Zakariya said she joined the company in 2018 and is able to sustain herself through her salary.

“There is a good work relationship with the team at this place which makes all of us workers to do our different roles properly,” she said.

Zakariya said there is team work at the place which makes business to grow production to sales and customer care.

The company makes 100 bottles per week using manual but with the machines they will increase to 500 bottles per week.

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EcoGen brings solutions to help address waste management

As a way of addressing issues of waste management, energy and Agriculture, EcoGen company has brought in solutions to help households, communities and institutions to manage waste.

The company was founded in 2018 by a young entrepreneur and a Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) graduate, Clement Kandodo, who saw a need to bring technologies to address issues of climate change through waste management solutions.

Kandodo said many people throw away waste like food leftovers, animal dung and chicken wastes thereby contributing to effects of climate change.

“Once you get your waste and dump them anywhere, they produce methane which goes to atmosphere affecting climate change,” he said.  

The company has come up with technologies to help waste management and mitigate issues of climate change in the country, he said.

 Kandodo explained that their technology converts he waste into Biogas and Biofertilizer. “Biogas can mainly be used for cooking, running machines like water pumps and generators.”

While biofertilizer produced by the same system can be used in several ways like applying as normal fertilizers to the fields, pesticides and also making feeds for pigs and local chickens.  

Normally, Kandodo said, the way this technology works is like a waste bin, this bin is designed in such a way that when you put in those waste, they are converted into energy which is biogas and fertilizer.

“This means that having this technology, you no longer need to spend money on cooking energy like charcoal, firewood and electricity because energy is available,” he said.

At the same time, he added, you will also be able to get fertilizer such that when you are into farming, you do not need to spend money to buy chemical fertilizer and pesticides.

Kandodo further said using biogas system will make life better as you will live in a sustainable way with nature.

Since the company started, he said, they have been able to install 64 systems to around 15 districts across the country.

Kandodo said his plan is to install 10,000 biogas systems by 2026 in Malawi. ” By achieving this target, we will be able to reduce number of people who are using unsustainable way of cooking.”

Currently, he said, they have opened an office and bought equipment like computers in southern region through financial support from Growth Accelerator.  

“To us, this is a very good development and timely because this is the region that has a lot of customers so the office means will be able to reach out to them with the technologies in good time,” Kandodo observed.

He also said capacity building provided by the GA has helped the company a lot in business management.

As the company is transitioning to growth of its business, the technical support was timely because the company is able to accelerate its business, Kandodo said.

Kandodo plans to open a Bio-Fertilizer plant in Lilongwe to help farmers use the cheap, affordable and sustainable fertilizer that can improve their yields rather than using chemical fertilizer which is expensive and can damage their soils due to chemicals in them.  

One of the beneficiaries of EcoGen technology, Patrick Jere of Clips Faming in Area 23, Lilongwe who is into farming and animal husbandry said the Biogas system has helped him a lot because he had challenges on how to dispose animal waste.

“People in the community were disturbed with the odor coming from the animal dung but I did not know what to do with them,” he said.

Jere’s farm is located within town where he practices animal husbandry like raring chickens, piggery farming as well as having an orchard and maize farming.

He heard about Ecogen and followed them up until he got a solution from waste management at his farm.

“They helped me to install a biogas system which has saved a lot of resources because waste from animals and food leftovers from the community are now being converted to biogas,” he said.

Jere said he is using the bio gas for cooking in his house, to warm up the rooms for chicks and lightening as well as extending the gas to his workers who have now stopped using charcoal and firewood.

Previously, just like other people, his family was buying bags of charcoal from vendors which he knew that somewhere trees have been cut off causing deforestation.

 In future, Jere said he wants to increase his biogas and fertilizer to sell to the community so that they adopt the sustainable ways of cooking using gas other than charcoal and firewood to help address effects of climate change.

If the community buys and uses the gas, he said,  then nobody will buy charcoal ad fuel wood from them and this means that somewhere deforestation will not occur as they will have nowhere to sell their commodities.

Since the installation of the system, he said, he stopped using chemical fertilizers as a result his farm and orchard uses the bio-fertilizer.

Jere said the yields from his farm have improved tremendously since he started using the biofertilizer.

“I’m now killing two birds at once, gas for cooking and fertilizer to improve my farm yields for the whole year using the natural sustainable remedies,” he said.

Jere added that when he applies the biofertilizer it also acts as a pesticide such that no pests and diseases attacks the field.

He further said he noticed that his orchard which has fruits like oranges, guavas, bananas, lemons, paw paws and other fruits are producing health fruits which are being sold in shops.

Jere supplies natural vegetables and fruits to Shops around Lilongwe from his farm though in a small quantity because it was just the beginning. “The quantities will be increased because it is my intention to increase more vegetables and fruits in the garden.” 

Jere installed the system at his Clips Farm in November, 2021.

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JAT Investment trains women and youths in mushroom production

JAT Investments has trained almost 144 women and youths with skills in mushroom production to improve the livelihoods of the community around Cihiseka Area, Traditional Authority Mazengera in Lilongwe.

The Company’s Operations Director, Temwani Gunda said they were much concerned with the vulnerability of women and youths in the area to socio-economic shocks leading to poverty.

“We came up with an idea to empower them with skills on how to make mushroom and sell so that they become self-sufficient at the same time overcome the economic challenges,” she said.

With the help of the company, she said, they created the clubs to improve capacity of the product as the demand for mushroom is too high on the market.

Gunda explained the company grouped them into clubs comprised of both men and women who expressed interest to venture into mushroom business as a group.

Currently, they are seven clubs who are doing much better in the mushroom farming.

“We send technical experts to impart skills on them. We advise them to construct temporary shelters where mushroom is grown even on a small land,” Gunda said.

She said the company also provide spawns, both Button and Oyster mushroom seeds to the clubs because the seeds cannot be found locally and are imported from South Africa or Kenya.  

 Gunda said the company also sells compost manure so that their mushroom can be grown on good soils to maximize their product.

JAT investments buy from the clubs the mushroom which they have produced. “We get the market on their behalf and give them their money.”

The company has enough capacity to keep all the mushrooms coming in from the clubs as it as increased the houses from two rooms to now 12 rooms with good temperature favorable for mushroom Gunda explained.

Mushroom is a perishable product and cannot be kept anyhow for fear of losing market.

Gunda said her company applied for Growth Accelerator Challenge and was privileged to get a $40,000 which was used to construct an additional house, bought solar power so that they can have electricity throughout for cooling the rooms.

“We have enough space to receive as much mushroom as possible and the temperatures are good because we have reliable power from solar energy which was acquired through the grant.” She said.

In addition, the company has procured a packaging machine from China and a composed making machine from India.

One of the club’s secretary, Esnart Akimu from Lakimu Club in Chiseka said the trainings and other skills received from the company benefited the club a lot as they can now produce mushroom and sell.

“We have seen benefits in mushroom production as we have enough money now to share as a club,” she observed.

Akimu said they received their training in December, 2021 and started shelter construction and other logistics for mushroom farming.

“We planted for trial in January then planted again in mid June and harvested after two weeks, we got 6.5kilograms, then 22.6kg,” she said.

She said the club is now harvesting in large quantities. “We have K350,000 in our account and we are anticipating the figure to increase by December this year when we are expecting to share the money.

Not only for money, the club members are benefiting nutritionally as the vegetable has high nutrition values, Akimu said.

She said they are planning to increase the shelter from one to at least three shelters to produce more mushroom for more money.

However, the club has nine members hoping for others to join in future because they will see benefits through which the members who have joined the club are having.

Akimu therefore commended the company for coming in to their rescue to improve their livelihoods.

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Story By: Fazilla Tembo – Contributor (The Nation Newspaper Malawi)


For Siyaphela Makunganya 33years old, who operates private ambulance services in Zomba, his dream has come true.

The dream started in 2018 when his grandfather living in some part of Balaka district fell sick and there was need for a vehicle to urgently carry the patient to hospital. But all efforts failed and the old man died two hours later.

It then dawned on sad Makunganya that if private ambulance services were available, lives could be saved.
“I embarked on a research from inside and outside the country and I found that many such services do exist in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa,” he explained in an interview.

“However, I realized that running such business required huge capital but that did not discourage me,” he continued.

Makunganya connected himself to a Nigerian organization called Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) where he successfully got a $5000 grant and used the part of the funds to purchase a second hand Vannette minibus, which he customized to become an ambulance.

The major breakthrough for Makunganya came in 2020 when a client in Matawale, one of the renowned townships in Zomba, tipped him about Growth Accelerator Programme.

This is an initiative run by MHub in partnership with Growth Africa – Growth Frontiers with support from United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Malawi, KfW, and the Royal Norwegian Embassy.

The program seeks to support high-impact post revenue businesses with co-financing of up to $40,000, mentorship and technical assistance.

Makunganya successfully applied for $2,100 only, not knowing he could apply for a grant of up to $40,000 and get it.

When Makunganya realized that he had left a whopping $38,000 behind, he re-applied for it and got the funds in tranches.

“I got the first tranche of $3,000 which I channeled towards marketing my company through adverts and banners,” he explained.

“My desire was to have more ambulances: so when I got the remaining funding, I grew my business to where it is now,” he said.

Makunganya procured two sophisticated ambulances using the subsequent GAP grant tranches and the new vehicles have increased visibility of his business, Zomba Private Ambulance (ZPA) services.

Although he started the ambulance services business without any medical background Makunganya outsources off-duty nurses and clinicians who work in shifts to run the business.

Besides, ZPA services has also created jobs for over 10 people in Zomba.

With the publicity and visibility, Makunganya’s ambulance services business started receiving many calls around Zomba.

The founder and managing director of ZPA services recalls that in 2021 renowned musician, Lucius Banda, hired the firm to offer services at Sand Music Festival in Mangochi after seeing the adverts.

“The firm has now grown compared to the past, before joining the GA initiative,” explained Makunganya, adding: “The training and mentorship that we got from the initiative on bookkeeping and reporting has really contributed to our growth.”

Makunganya also recalls that his business thrived sharply towards the end of 2019 and early 2020 in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

With cases of COVID-19 on the increase, ZPA services was overwhelmed with calls to ferry clients to hospital, or to take those discharged from hospital back home.

According to the proprietor, another factor that has contributed to the growth of ZPA services is the affordability of their charges which range from K10,000 to K30,000 per trip.

Zomba ambulances are also available to ferry dead bodies from hospital to given destination.

Having registered success, one would think Makunganya’s dream is fully realized. But that is not what this enterprenuer Is thinking: he want to expand his business farther and beyond.

“I want to reach out to other districts in the country, and I want to expand to other neighbouring countries like Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa,” explained the ZPA services founder, who hails from Group Village Headman Jere, T/A Kalembo in Balaka district.

“In future, I want to expand to air ambulance sexpanto airlift those in need of medical attention elsewhere, outside the country,” he concluded.


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Amazing bakes is one among eleven businesses that are benefiting from the fifth cohort of the Growth Accelerator Entrepreneurship Challenge. Mwabi Msiska is a cofounder of Amazing Bakes a confectionery and beverages company situated in Zomba district.


Amazing Bakes is receiving a grant of $40,000.00 that is being used to purchase industrial equipment to improve their production processes. “Before the grant, what used to happen is that everything was done manually. So when the fruits arrived at the factory, women would get table knives and peel the fruits and then using the same knives, chop the fruits before we start the boiling.”


Other than the financial support that they are receiving from the programme, Amazing bakes is also receiving technical support that helps them identify gaps in their businesses and possible ways of closing those gaps in order to scale up the business. “Before the trainings our business was almost not structured at all. We were just running things in an ad hoc fashion. But with the trainings we’ve received so far, we have are now able to structure our team in order to improve accountability as well as to foster the anticipated growth.”


The Growth Accelerator Entrepreneurship challenge supports high-growth post-revenue entrepreneurs with co-financing of up to $40,000.00, mentorship, and technical assistance to help them grow and scale. The program is run by MHub in partnership with GrowthAfrica – Growth Frontiers, with support from UNDP Malawi, #KFW, and the #RoyalNorwegianEmbassy

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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.

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