Small businesses challenged on innovation, social impact


Small and medium entrepreneurs in the country (SMEs) have been challenged to make their businesses innovative and impactful   to the needs of the society in order for them to get funding.

The call was made on Tuesday in Blantyre at a business information session organized for small and medium entrepreneurs in the country aimed at informing them about an opening for them to apply for an entrepreneurship challenge fund known as Growth Accelerator.

Speaking during an interview after the information session, Tapiwa Bokosi who is the Public Information Officer for MHub whose organisation is implementing the UNDP and Royal Norwegian embassy funded programme in partnership with Growth Africa said among other things the program seeks to equip young entrepreneurs with technical assistance, mentorship and co-financing in order to grow their businesses.

Bokosi said: There is a huge gap between indigenous and foreign businesses in the country whereby Smaller and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) do not grow due to lack of technical knowledge on how they can grow their business and also lack of adequate finance”.

Bokosi continued by saying that successful entrepreneurs under the program are expected to undergo a one year mentorship programme before they are to be given a grant of up  to 40,000 United States dollars apart from technical support.

Louis Chiwalo who is the president of Economic Empowered Action Group (EEAG) in a separate interview said that apart from lack of technical knowledge and adequate finance, indigenous businesses are also shunned by customers.

MHub and Growth Africa have been implementing Growth Accelerator Entrepreneurship Challenge program since 2018 with the first cohort of beneficiaries already in the industry.