Centre For Free Market Enterprise organized a Zomba Entrepreneurs ‘Pitch Night’ where young entrepreneurs were introduced to effective and modern business skills and tactics in order to prosper with keynote speaker Dr. Ben Malunga Phiri defined business as “the art of making and losing money,” explaining that if one is not prepared to lose money, then they should not try business.
According to Executive Director, Peter Yakobe, the Centre is committed to grooming and supporting young entrepreneurs in Malawi in the belief that entrepreneurship is one of the most effective remedies to the many social and economic challenges affecting Malawi, Africa and the world.
“We train young people in entrepreneurship and connect them to potential investors who may support their businesses. We target the unemployed youth, university students and graduates. We also extend our programmes to the Malawi Prison Service where we train juveniles at Mikuyu and Bvumbwe prisons in entrepreneurship and help them start their own businesses when they are released as one way of self rehabilitation,” said Yakobe in an interview.
During this address, Malunga who is Exective Chairman of Beata Holdings Limited, a real estate and printing conglomerate headquartered in Lilongwe, said when investing the youth should be prepared to face challenges.
“Losses are part of the game; what matters is the determination to recover; to do the best you can to get back on your feet,” said Phiri.
In his presentation, ‘Creating a generation of millionaires’, Phiri said that when starting business, one identify of a problem and attempt to solve it, explaining there is a business opportunity in every challenge.
“Your solution (s) can be your breakthrough. For example, a coffin workshop can spin a lot of money for you while others are grieving. It isimperative to identify your own passion because experience has it that successful businesses have emerged out people’s passion and never copy someone’s idea but learn from others,” he said, adding that successful entrepreneurs always have a ‘vision’, which is a picture of the future that pursues their passion.
He encouraged entrepreneurs to plan their businesses, clearly outlining their ideas of how and what they intend to achieve in the short, medium and long term.
“Planning is an integral part of any successful business. Always planyour start-up; plan your spending; and stay within your plan but be flexible to new ideas. It is also important to avoid getting carried away with short term successes but instead remain focused on your plan,” Phiri said, adding that an entrepreneur must always connect with the right people to sell their ideas, products or services
“An entrepreneur has to sell; if you can’t sell then you are not worth an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur must identify a mentor who has done it in life and is willing to share their experience with you,” said the youthful business magnet.
Phiri said a successful entrepreneur is one who can earn trust of the market; one who is honest; and one who fulfills business legal obligations such as paying taxes.
He called on Malawians at home and abroad to venture in businesses and contribute to the social and economic growth of their “motherland”.
“There is no any other place that we can call home than Malawi. Instead of wasting our time tarnishing government on social media networks, let us find something productive to do to improve our own social and economic status and that of our nation,” said Phiri.
Zomba Entrepreneurs Pitch Night is organized once every two months. Three local entrepreneurs are given an opportunity to ‘pitch’ their business (or business idea) on stage before an audience of entrepreneurs, bankers, investors and members of the general public. This is done to build a culture of entrepreneurship within the Zomba community.
“Since inception in November 2016, many successful entrepreneurs have spoken at the pitch night, including Dr. Thom Mpinganjira (FDH Bank), Sidik Mia (S&A Cold Storage), Henry Kachaje (Business Consult Africa,) among others” said Yakobe.
The event drew participants from Zomba and Blantyre who came out of the meeting highly motivated by Phiri’s inspiring presentation.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :