FDH Holdings Plc engages with final year MUBAS students in presentations of real-time business plans

FDH Holdings Plc dared recent graduates of Malawi University of Business & Applied Sciences (MUBAS), formerly the Polytechnic of Malawi, to present real-time business ideas and plans for possible injection of working capital.

Done at Sunbird Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre, the students — who formed nine real time companies — pitched their business ideas to a panel of 7 executive management of FDH Holdings, that included FDH Bank Plc acting Managing Director, George Chitera.

Acting MD Chitera shares light moment with the students

The panellists, that included FDH Money Bureau Managing Director, Daniel Pinto Khamula; First Discount House Managing Director Mike Chiwalo and several FDH Holdings heads of department, finally identified 5 for further nurturing.

After the nurturing and assessment, the most viable ones from the five will eventually get funding upon their graduation from MUBAS with continued mentoring by the financial services providers.

FDH’s initiative, the first of its kind in the financial services industry as well as the corporate world, followed a symposium MUBAS’ Faculty of Education and Media Studies which impressed FDH Bank’s acting MD Chitera who attended it as guest of honour.

After sharing with the rest of the FDH Holdings’ management team, they resolved to gather the students again for the real time presentations named FDH Graduate Start Ups.

In his opening remarks, Chitera — while assuring the presenters not to be intimidated by the positions of the panellists and the rest of the top management team present in the hall — impressed on them that if successful, the FDH Graduate Start Ups shall be made into an annual event.

“Every business starts with a concept which must be disciplined and consistent,” he said. “It is not easy at the beginning but if it fails, you go back to the drawing board and move on.

“Others think of how and where they can acquire working capital but we at FDH believe that it’s the people’s disciplined ideas that generate capital.

“The panellists in front of you is the working capital — impress on them with confidence to earn their confidence to pick some of you for the funding you will need to generate your ideas and concepts into reality.”

Clean Energy of Enterprise’s Favour Umar making her presentation

The panellists really grilled the young minds but they stood resolute to answer some difficult questions while others were more leading as they punched holes in the concepts while at the same time offering tips on how they can be improved.

The nine companies the final year students have formed are Clean Energy of Enterprise; Direct-Connect Real Estate Solutions; Kuwali Interior Design & Decoration; My Artistic Dream School of Art and Gallery; Rise & Shine Secondary School; The Public Eye; Umodzi Farm and Yours Truly Event Planning & Management.

They all presented from power points their management plans; capital projections; marketing strategies; mass media visibility as well as how to cope with challenges the country is facing through the CoVID-19 pandemic.

The five that were selected for further assessment and nurturing were Clean Energy of Enterprise; Direct-Connect Real Estate Solutions (Di-coRES); Kuwali Interior Design & Decoration (KIDD); My Artistic Dream (School of Art and Gallery) and Rise & Shine Secondary School.

In June, FDH’s Group Chief Executive Officer, William Mpinganjira inspired students at Chichiri Secondary School in Blantyre with a motivational talk as the Bank launched first-of-its-kind nationwide schools Career Guidance mentorship initiative.

The initiative was rolled out in celebration of the International Day of the African Child and the Bank also donated 62 desks and 105 chairs worth K3 million to solve one of the challenges the school faced.

Mpinganjira impressed on the students that they had to join the Day of the African Child to take care of the industry that has educated Malawians so that they can work together in the development of the country.

The Schools Career Guidance mentorship initiative was mooted at the company that every member of staff should play a role in this mentorship to inspire its staff to own any CSR initiative that they shall be carrying out.

Mpinganjira had said if a CSR is not made personal by a member of staff, then it cannot work and every member of staff in the communities that FDH Bank operates in across the country, would be expected to be involved in the Career Guidance mentorship.

FDH Bank has a large footprint with branches across the country that include public individual managed FDH Banki Pakhomo agencies.

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