Growth Accelerator Malawi Cohort 6 Officially Unveiled
August 18, 2023
16 successful early-stage entrepreneurs have officially been unveiled under Cohort 6 of the Growth Accelerator Entrepreneurship Challenge. The entrepreneurs will embark on an entrepreneurial journey that will accelerate their businesses to greater heights. On Friday 21 July, the 16 entrepreneurs were brought together to celebrate their achievement during an unveiling ceremony at the Growth Accelerator offices in Lilongwe.
Launched in 2018 in a partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Royal Norwegian Embassy, Growth Accelerator Malawi has so far supported 62 business ventures in 5 cohorts. In 2023, the number of businesses goes up to 78, further supporting Chapter 5 of Malawi Vision 2063 for “Investments and entrepreneurship development”.
The call for applications for Cohort 6 was launched in September 2022 to support post-revenue enterprises with access to technical assistance, mentorship, and co-financing of up to $40,000 in partnership with the German Development Bank (KfW).
One of the successful entrepreneurs, Rachel Kumwenda, launched Drone Link in August 2021 which is a technology firm that uses drones to provide an ariel view for mining, construction, and environmental impact assessments. She is looking forward to expanding her company stating, “This opportunity will enable us to expand our capabilities as we plan to purchase more equipment including drones and processing laptops which will boost our business while also enabling and motivating other young people.”
At the event, UNDP Programme Coordinator for Private Sector Development, Cinzia Tecce congratulated the oncoming cohort for their success in joining the initiative stating, “We understand the entrepreneurial journey and how rough it is. With overwhelming enthusiasm at the start (idea-stage entrepreneurs), moving into stiff competition with less than 10% of all entrepreneurs able to grow their business (global statistic), and only 3% achieve dynamic growth. You stand at that slope of enlightenment with the ambition of reaching sustainability, and such is our common ambition through the Growth Accelerator.”
Representative of the German Embassy - Malawi, Carolyn Kanjala, shared her remarks with the new Cohort on their promising achievement saying, “The Growth Accelerator offers an opportunity to develop a much-needed vibrant manufacturing sector to convert produce into value-added products that can benefit consumers both domestically and internationally. At the end of the day, what we want to see from the investment is a developed private sector and economic growth which will benefit Malawians, especially the poor households.”
Ceaser Chembezi is the founder of Kayola Processors and is one of the 16 winners of Cohort 6. His company produces mosquito repellent in the form of body lotion and soap. Speaking on this new journey he will embark on with the 15 other entrepreneurs, he states, “Under the Growth Accelerator Program, Kayola Processors is focusing on the expansion of its production and output. We plan to purchase processing equipment to improve our products and output volume. We are also working on improving our product presence on the Malawian market through investing in marketing.”
The potential impact of this round of Growth Accelerator Malawi is the creation of 730 jobs in the next 12 months of which 125 are full-time envisaged, 605 seasonal with the addition of approximately 1,000 smallholder farmers benefiting from this initiative.
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