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Business Incubators Trained on Pre-Incubation Management

Business Incubation Managers and Business Development Officers from six incubators implementing the Zantchito Entrepreneurship business incubation programme have been trained on the stages of the pre-incubation process to enable them to effectively support idea-stage entrepreneurs and transform their business ideas to viable ventures.

A section of the participants listening to one of the trainers, Deep Karki, during the workshop

The incubators are Mzuzu E-Hub, NxtGen Labs, TACE/Agribiz Hub at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), Dzuka Africa, Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS) Business Incubation Centre, and the Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) Business Incubation Centre who in total have over 400 incubates expected to start pre-incubation under the programme.

With business incubation still developing in Malawi, there was a need to establish a comprehensive framework/process for guiding cohort-based pre-incubation procedures; supporting incubates through the entire journey from ideation to venture graduation and implementation, furnish a robust framework for diagnosing and assessing the six key dimensions of business incubation, and provide training to equip the incubation service providers with knowledge, skills, and behaviours vis a vis the six key dimensions, alongside exploring mentorship, coaching, and handholding support for the incubates.

Bartek Studniarski, during the launch of business incubation at Dzuka Africa

Speaking during the official opening of the three-day training workshop at Ufulu Gardens in Lilongwe, on 27th May 2024, the Team Leader for Economic Cooperation and Public Sector at the European Union Delegation to Malawi, Bartek Studniarski hailed the catalytic role that the business incubators play in providing technical expertise and resources to idea-stage entrepreneurs.

The participants learned and discussed key incubation dimensions such as business idea validation, prototype development, market research, testing and validation, visibility analysis, risk assessment and mitigation, business planning, and the launch and execution plan.

At the end of the training, the business incubation service providers said the technical insights and experiences they shared during the sessions will help them to effectively serve their incubates in the future. Mabvuto Chilenje, Business Incubation Manager for the DAPP Business Incubation Centre, said the training has equipped incubators with advanced knowledge in providing tailored support based on the needs of each individual business.

“Previously as incubators, sometimes we just looked at the business from a broader perspective, but now the training has helped us to break down each component of the business to help the incubate to flourish in that business” said Mavuto Chilenje.

Mr. Buddhika Samarasinghe addressing participants at the workshop

Project Director for Zantchito Entrepreneurship and Access to Finance, Mr. Buddhika Samarasinghe, encouraged the service providers to utilise the lessons saying the pre-incubation process was tailored for individual needs of incubates to enhance their entrepreneurial journey, increase the likelihood of success, and provide personalised support to empower each incubate to overcome challenges, leverage their strengths, and realise their full potential as aspiring entrepreneurs.

The training was facilitated by Deep Karki and Bibek Shrestha, international business incubation experts, from Cadmus Group International.

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