The KfW Development Bank, a financing arm of the Germany government, has advised young entrepreneurs to look at themselves as the future of the country.

Speaking at the start of a two day Kula (grow) session for the 16 GA Cohort 6 ventures, Edwina Hanjahanja said “we believe that you are the ones who hold the key for Malawi because countries develop through entrepreneurship.”

The KfW are supporting the Growth Accelerator, a UNDP business acceleration program, which supports youth-led start-ups to grow and scale.

“As you might be aware, “Kula” means “grow” or “to grow”. This is the crux of the Growth Accelerator. To accelerate growth, and ultimately grow with you through the GA matching grant and technical assistance support instrument,” said Rabi Gaudo, a UNDP portfolio manager.

According to UNDP, Kula sessions “are the most critical and the very heart of the support package of the Growth Accelerator.”

Day one of the first Kula session, has been an exciting start to a six months’ journey, according to participants.

“The first day has been an eye opener. I have learnt a lot about self-awareness and the whole session has been engaging, a lot of learning and unlearning of my behaviour and attitude as an entrepreneur,” said Rachel Kumwenda, founder of Drone Link.

Her counterpart, Alfred Chisale, owner of Dziwani, a clean cookstove manufacturer, said “it has been a profitable day for me.”

“I think I need to improve on the commitment I have on my business. I’ve learnt a lot today,” he said.

Growth Accelerator Project Manager, Tambulani Chunga is hopeful that the 16 businesses will grow from their current levels saying “I’ll be the happiest person to see all of you grow big on the market.”

Kula sessions are part of the GA grant package Technical Assistance.