Malawi Agricultural Industrial and Investment Corporation (MAIIC) has pledged to finance entrepreneurs to boost their businesses, saying they have strategies in place to assist them.
MAIIC managing director Taz Chaponda made the pledge on Wednesday in Lilongwe during the launch of a two-day Access to Entrepreneurship Financing Workshop organised by National Planning Commission (NPC) and its partners, targeting youth entrepreneurs.
He said to deal with financial insecurities for startups and those with mere business ideas, for example, the development finance institution has mentorship programmes to train prospective and existing entrepreneurs on how to perfect their ideas and business plans to become viable bankable businesses worth financing.
He said: “Even if someone has a brilliant huge idea, they still need capacity building targeted at their specific business ideas and we do provide the training and financing later. Money is there to lend them.”
Chaponda said they have the financial inclusion and entrepreneurship scaling, which is a concession loan targetting the youth offered at 10 to 11 percent interest per annum.
Speaking earlier, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Sosten Gwengwe said the best way to generate wealth, in line with Malawi 2063 aspirations, is for the citizenry to develop and sustain an entrepreneurial mind.
He acknowledged that entrepreneurship is enabled by access to readily available and affordable financing. He called on financiers to be flexible to support viable entrepreneurial ideas.
Gwengwe said: “Let us all focus on graduating this country into an industrialised upper middle-income country and meet most of the Sustainable Development Goals within the shortest time.”
NPC director general Thomas Chataghalala Munthali said there are idle resources which they want to help the youth to access to start their businesses, employ themselves and others for wealth creation in line with the country’s long-term development strategy.
“We are taking this step to move away from mere policy planning to implementation,” he said.
In his statement, Secretary to the Treasury MacDonald Mafuta-Mwale said youth involvement in economic activities is key to sustainable economic growth.
One of the youth entrepreneurs, Deliwe Makata, who is founder of Swift Capital, decried a hostile business environment that hinders youth’s access to affordable finance.