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EU, UNDP Express Optimism for a Vibrant Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Malawi.

The European Union (EU), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have said the Zantchito Entrepreneurship and Access to Finance is set to create a vibrant ecosystem for entrepreneurship, that will contribute to improving employability and self-employment opportunities for Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training (TEVET) graduates, University graduates, and other young entrepreneurs.

Launch of Business Incubation programme at TACE/Agribiz Hub under Zantchito – Entrepreneurship and Access to Finance.

Currently, Malawi’s private sector is underdeveloped and is characterised by a large number of informal players. The majority of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSEs) lack the necessary technical and financial support to grow their businesses to levels that would render them more productive and formalised players.

At present, entrepreneurs lack a viable ecosystem within which to develop, business support services are limited, business incubation services are in their infancy, and access to finance, especially for the many smaller entrepreneurs, is ranked as a key constraint for business development.

Speaking recently in Lilongwe during the launch of Zantchito Entrepreneurship business incubation programme at NxtGen Labs and at TACE/Agribiz Hub at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) respectively, Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation to Malawi, Ivo Hoefkens, said Zantchito Entrepreneurship will address such constraints in the ecosystem, through the promotion of an entrepreneurial culture, that is conducive to sustainable enterprise creation, with capacitated and commercially demand driven business and incubation advisory services.

Zantchito Entrepreneurship and Access to Finance will provide a perfect platform for early-stage entrepreneurs and graduates with ideas, to test their business ideas, develop prototypes and go to market with their products and services, at the same time formalising their businesses”.  Ivo Hoefkens.

Zantchito Entrepreneurship and Access to Finance is one of the components of Zantchito Skills for Jobs programme. The component is co-financed and coordinated by the UNDP.

Also speaking at the two events was the Deputy Resident Representative for UNDP Malawi Country Office, Challa Getachew who said the main ambition of the component is to enhance pre-incubation, incubation, post-incubation support and the provision of Business Development Services (BDS) to graduates and MSEs.

We will primarily do this by capturing the passion, intelligence, imagination, and resources of ‘enterprising’ graduates with ideas and other innovators with the potential for entrepreneurship. Using a combination of new approaches for enterprise stimulation, we will identify and engage talented entrepreneurs, who can create the transformative businesses of tomorrow, by nurturing their ideas through business incubators, thus increasing their chances of surviving, and thriving” Challa Getachew.

Mr Getachew then challenged young people in Malawi that have entrepreneurial ideas to utilise the Zantchito Entrepreneurship business incubation support, stating that the long-term approach adopted in the designing and developing the phased pre-incubation, incubation, and post-incubation support, is to move from a supply led to a demand driven programme.

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