Empower initiative targets one million Malawi rural women

Women entrepreneurs can drive economic growth if the country  creates  new and innovative opportunities for women-owned businesses to thrive and grow, says entrepreneur, Prisca Chipao during the launch of Empower Initiative at ICA Auditorium in Lilongwe.

Chipawo with the ladies at the launch
Chipao: Empower Initiative

According to Chipao,  Empower Initiative which is set out to equip Malawian woman in business will  reach out to at least 1million women in rural areas and 500,000 women in urban areas by 2025 through  support groups.

Spekaing at the launch, Chipao pointed out that their  support groups are self-sustainable as every support groups generates income to support its activities through joint businesses that every support group runs.

“We are building a network that will ultimately be a complete supply chain by women business owners,” she said.

Chipao said they are convinced that women entrepreneurs can drive economic growth, but only if they are enabled to realize their rights and if we work in partnership with business, government and civil society to improve their opportunities and outcomes in global value chains.

“If women participate in economic activity, own and control productive assets, it leads to development by helping to overcome poverty, reducing inequality and improving children’s nutrition, health, and school attendance,” said Chipao.

She therefore called  upon all stakeholders from government, business and civil society to engage in collective actions to foster an enabling business and financial climate for women entrepreneurs by also making sure  eliminate structural barriers.

Chipao also note that  for the country to deal with issues of poverty  the only key is  empowering women economically .

“Empower initiative is set out to close these gender economic gaps by giving women access to finance, practical business skills training and mentorships. Closing the gender gap will improve economic productivity and growth opportunities and investing in girls and women’ economic empowerment is a pathway to higher long-term growth,” said Chipao.

The conference was endowed with several key speakers including phenomenal business women; Mwiriha Kapondamgaga of Warm Heart Café, Endrina Maxwell of Dwale Dealers, international designer Lilly Alfonso of Lilly Alfonso designs,  Pamela Chikafa of NBS Bank.

One of the panelist, Tadala Chinkwezule stressed on the fact that women empowerment does not mean arrogance or working independently from men but rather equipping women to be equal contenders that work hand in hand with men.

The conference also had male panelists like  Chimwemwe Manyozo and Charles Nyekanyeka who shared on the roles that men in Malawi have to play in empowering women economically.

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