Round 6 of the Growth Accelerator Challenge Launched

September 16, 2022
Growth Accelerator Challenge Malawi

"We position the Growth Accelerator to complement Government efforts in achieving inclusive wealth creation and self-reliance for economic independence." - UNDP Malawi Deputy Resident Representative, Challa Getachew

The Growth Accelerator Entrepreneurship Challenge round 6 has officially been launched. With UNDP as the principal partner, mHub, in collaboration with Growth Africa, is implementing the Growth Accelerator Entrepreneurship Challenge that aims to support post-revenue enterprises with access to technical assistance, mentorship, and co-financing of up-to $40,000. This effort is being financed by German Development Bank (KfW), and the Royal Norwegian Embassy

The key focus of the challenge instrument is on accelerating the growth of early-stage, innovative, impactful, and ambitious entrepreneurs with an emphasis on impact investment for sustainable enterprise development. In its fourth year, the challenge has supported 62 entrepreneurs in five rounds since its launch in July 2018.

Speaking at the launch, mHub Chief Executive Officer, Blessings Chavula lauded the achievements of the challenge instrument since its launch in 2018. “Over the last four years we have accelerated businesses with co-financing of more than 1.5 million US Dollars, that have created employment for more than 500 people, impacted over 10,000 people in diverse value chains, and continue to make a contribution to the socio-economic development of the country”, he stated.

Of the 521 jobs that have been created through this initiative, 188 are women, representing 36%. UNDP Malawi Deputy Resident Representative, Challa Getachew emphasized the importance of youth employment for overall economic independence. He stated, “With young people continually facing unemployment, and continued economic shocks to an already weak private sector that is unable to create enough job opportunities for all, we position the Growth Accelerator to complement Government efforts in achieving inclusive wealth creation and self-reliance for economic independence.”

Director of the German Development Bank (KfW) Lilongwe Office, Oliver Gleiss is confident that round 6 of the Growth Accelerator Challenge will reach out to those in need through a rigorous and transparent process. He said, “The Growth Accelerator offers an opportunity to develop a much-needed vibrant manufacturing sector to convert produce into value added products that are able to 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.”

In addition to the $40,000 co-finance, each selected post-revenue enterprise will get access to technical assistance in the form of boot camps where training is delivered, across different topics, tailor-made for each enterprise as well as to connect with mentors.

Kundai Moyo, co-founder of Apex Medical Laboratories has greatly benefited from the Growth Accelerator Challenge. The company’s mission is to save lives by providing high-quality laboratory services. Explaining the benefits of the training and business clinics offered by the challenge, she says, “One of the things we learned is to understand the market, which is very important, as well as to develop leadership skills.”

Applications for the Growth Accelerator Challenge close on 14 October 2022. Selection of successful enterprises will be completed by 31 December 2022.