Some 16 youth-led business ventures under Cohort 6 of the Growth Accelerator (GA), supported with matching grant and Technical Assistance, were officially unveiled at an ecosystem event on Friday 21st July 2023.

The event accorded the SMEs an interface with various stakeholders including financial institutions, Malawi Bureau of Standards and International ISO Standards Expert.

The 16 are looking to upscale their businesses in the next 12 months with efforts that have potential to create 730 new jobs, in various areas of the Malawi economy.

This cohort of the UNDP led initiative is being supported by the German Development Cooperation through KfW.

According to Carolyn Kanjala, a representative of the Germany Development Cooperation, through the 16 SMEs, the Germany government anticipates growth, not only for the companies, but the Malawi economy as a whole.

She emphasised: “we consider the Growth Accelerator to be a flagship project, as it offers solutions during these difficult economic times being experienced globally.”

Cinzia Tecce who represented the UNDP said that since the launch of GA in 2018, some 600 Malawians have accessed fulltime employment while 6,000 others have accessed services and products through the five previous cohorts of the GA program.

Tecce advised the ventures to look beyond the monetary value of the facility saying the most valuable aspect is the Technical Assistance available to help them grow their business ventures, sustainably.

“This program has assisted so many ventures take a deep dive into their businesses and rethink their growth strategy,” she says.

The GA Project Manager, Tambulani Chunga, echoed saying “we have been tasked to work with you, ventures, to help you grow.”

“Our role is to help you realise your dreams. From today onwards, we will be interested to work with business owners not employees because we want people who can make decisions on behalf of the businesses in order to grow their capacity monetarily, as well as in business acumen skills,” he said.

Three of the 16 ventures, Apocalypse Waste Management Solutions, Funani and Kambewu, are into organic fertiliser production and are looking to start producing granulated fertilizer products. Another one in organic fertiliser is Vegan Africa Waste Management.

Other ventures under cohort 6 are Akhada Baskets, Aycees & Tees Investment, Chiweto, Drone Link, Dziwani Investments, E&G Investments, Kayola Processors. Malasha Briquettes, MCM Investments, Nkhotakota Steadfast Cooperations for Youth, Planet Green Africa and Yewo.