Youthful entrepreneurial minds in the country under the platform called Lilongwe Pitch Night gathered at the residence of the British High Commissioner in the capital Lilongwe to sell their ideas to business captains with hope that they may be assisted to grow their respective businesses.
During such functions which come once every month, selected few individuals make presentations on their business ideas where business captains and members of the general public fire questions to get clarity or assess viability of the ideas with the ultimate goal of having the ideas polished and/or fund them.
The recent event was exceptional as it got the blessings of the British High Commissioner to Malawi, Michael Nevin, who has since offered the Embassy premises in the capital Lilongwe to be hosting the Lilongwe Pitch Night functions.
Taking his turn, the guest speaker for the function, James Woods Nkhutabasa, a youthful and successful entrepreneurial Malawian based in London encouraged the audience to take advantage of such platform as it helps to network and build social capital.
“We should not wait for banks to give us loans. Let’s take advantage of the social capital around us,” said Woods-Nkhutabasa.
He urged government to move fast in introducing entrepreneurial subjects at every stage of our learning process faulting Malawi’s education system as preparing students for white collar jobs and not preparing them for entrepreneurship.
He cited the recent World Bank report to the effect that Malawian graduates are not living to their billing in as far as the expectations of the industry are concerned.
Woods-Nkhutabasa, a Masters Degree holder from London school of Economics and Political Science, is a founder of AJ Africa Consulting and part of the international celebrity and artist booking firm Next Level Agency.
On his part, the outgoing British High Commissioner to Malawi Michael Nevin, broke the good news that he had offered the Embassy premises to be hosting such events for free—moving from Cross roads hotel where the organizers were paying a fee to stage such a function.
Nevin also urged Malawi youths in the country to patronize Lilongwe pitch night as it is a platform which serves to build a culture of entrepreneurship in Malawi by providing access to financing through investors or collaborators, market linkages, social capital, mentorship and advocacy.
Among those who presented was Piliarani Kumasewera, an ICT Mzuni Graduate who has developed learning software for the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) dubbed Padziwe Digital Library (PDL).
He intends to activate Malawi kids to start using computers at an early stage as using PDL means learning Computer end user skills at an early stage unlike the current scenario where the few lucky youths in Malawi learn how to use a computer while in College. One can read more about this software on his company’s website: http://www.padziwe.com