Malawi’s first technology hub has received a boost from United States of America (USA) which has given mHub a $12 945 (approximately K9.7 million) grant to support the training and mentoring of 40 aspiring female entrepreneurs.
Launched in 2013 by chief executive officer (CEO) Rachel Sibande and co-founders Austin Madinga and Angel Chirwa, mHub is an incubator for technology startups with a special focus on building young technology entrepreneurs through training, skills development and mentorship.
Sibande said it is important for the girls to acquire and combine business and ICT innovation skills so that they can start their own entrepreneurial activities.
“The grant will help turn them from job seekers into job creators,” she said.
Sibande said mHub seeks to enhance the growth of the ICT sector in Malawi by enhancing the culture of entrepreneurship in technology among the youths through training, transfer of skills and mentorship in technology and business.
Through the six-month training, the girls will be part of emerging entrepreneurs of mHub that are sent into the industry to exploit their skills including computer software and hardware repairing, according to Sibande.
Speaking when she handed the grant on mHub on Tuesday, US Ambassador Virginia Palmer said Malawian girls need support to realise their dreams because they are disadvantaged in various ways.
“Malawi has fantastic and smart girls that have what it takes to change this country and the world, but the reality is tough for most girls. Malawi ranks 174 out of 184 on the United Nations Gender Inequality Index. To excel they need some support and this is a programme that we have arranged to get them some of those skills,” she said.
Sibande believes there is enough entrepreneurial potential in the country to turn it into a force to be reckoned with in the region.