Lack of information bringing down Malawi women entrepreneurs

Lack of information has been singled out as the reason most women entrepreneurs have poor business, financial management and marketing skills that bring down their businesses.

The women entrepreneurs with Nkombezi and Kuwali sitting (center) in front row

Director of SMEs and Registrar of Cooperatives in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Wiskes Nkombezi, said this on Monday in the Capital Lilongwe at the opening of a three day skills development training for twenty women entrepreneurs.

The training has been organised by Civil Society Agriculture Network (CISANET) in partnership with African Capacity Building Foundation to increase the women’s knowledge in business management, networking and access to finance and markets.

The training is the first in the series of two trainings scheduled for this week targeting forty women entrepreneurs.

“There is a lot of information out there which women entrepreneurs must learn to access and process in order to use it for running their businesses. That information is important because it would enhance their capabilities to run their businesses.

“If the women run their businesses well enough, they would get more profits and help create more wealth for the nation,” said Nkombezi.

Nkombezi added that there is the need for a multi-stakeholder approach in dealing with problems of access to finance, markets and training among women entrepreneurs.

“The Ministry of finance has already started through the introduction of the MK8 billion loan facility targeting women and youths. There is also the NBM Development Bank which is targeting small and medium enterprises with loans of up to MK200 million.

“As Ministry of Trade, our focus is on increasing access to markets. Then there is the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Trust, a government agency which focuses on training of small and medium enterprises through a business incubation centre at Mponela.

“We intend to open two more business incubation centres, one in the Northern Region and another in the Southern Region.  There is the need for more stakeholders to join hands with government in these efforts as CISANET and African Capacity Building Foundation have just done,” he said.

According to National Director for CISANET Pamela Kuwali, participants to the training were identified from a pool of participants after a call for proposals to attend the training.

She said they are targeting women who already have businesses to enable them grow their businesses with the skills they will acquire after attending the training.

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