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Ministry of Labour calls upon TEVET stakeholders to collaborate with Zantchito to support early-stage entrepreneurs.

Minister of Labour, Agnes NyaLonje, has asked stakeholders in the Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training (TEVET) sector to collaborate with the Zantchito-Entrepreneurship and Access to Finance programme to support early-stage entrepreneurs develop their innovations into sustainable businesses as a way of promoting entrepreneurial culture among the youth.

Zantchito’s Tawonga Chunda (UNDP) briefing the Minister of Labour Agnes NyaLonje (on the right) during the pavilion inspection at the TEVETA National Stakeholders Conference.

Addressing stakeholders during the TEVET Authority’s National Stakeholders Conference in Lilongwe on 20th April, 2023, the Minister said the country has many TEVET graduates with a range of business ideas and innovations that need, not only financial support, but a package of business support, in order to translate their ideas into growth-oriented companies.

“What everybody talks about is the need for financing, the need for start-up capital, and operating capital, but I think we are also talking about continuing to operate and exist as a business,” said NyaLonje.

TEVET graduates with business ideas are expected to be the main participants in the Zantchito business incubation support component.

The Minister observed that in Malawi many start-ups fall by the wayside due to a lack of capital and business development support. At this point, NyaLonje appealed to stakeholders to purposefully link business-minded TEVET graduates to Zantchito where they have the opportunity to access business incubation, business development services, and financial support.  

“I would like to ask TEVETA and all the partners, the stakeholders here. We have seen the EU-funded Zantchito programme and we know the ones who need the services offered by Zantchito. Let us look at all the graduates of the TEVET institutions that have business ideas and deliberately link them with Zantchito-Entrepreneurship and Access to Finance so that each of them gets the necessary support.” appealed NyaLonje.

Front view of the Zantchito pavilion at the TEVETA National Stakeholders Conference in Lilongwe.

Earlier, during the inspection of pavilions, the Minister expressed satisfaction with the structure of Zantchito’s support saying entrepreneurship requires more than just training.

“When we talk of entrepreneurship, giving young people skills is just the beginning.  Training does not make one an entrepreneur. It just gives the possibility, but you need all the other ingredients” said NyaLonje.

Representing Zantchito-Entrepreneurship and Access to Finance, Tawonga Chunda of UNDP, said the programme aims to provide business incubation, business development support and USD7.1 million in financial support to 3,800 TEVET graduates, university graduates and other Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) that have entrepreneurial ambitions.

The Zantchito-supported entrepreneurs are expected to establish growth-oriented enterprises that will create at least 7,600 decent, formal jobs for Malawians, while also experiencing sustainable revenue growth.  

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