Malawi’s first technology incubation hub Mhub and Standard Bank will on Thursday unveil the winner of a K20 million seed capital at the end of the first ever national entrepreneurship challenge dubbed, “What Will You Do with MK20 Million Kwacha”.
The challenge, organized and run by mHub and Her Liberty organisations with financial support from Standard Bank, National Bank and European Investment Bank was launched in March this year to support emerging entrepreneurs who struggle to fund their business ideas into profitable ventures.
The five shortlisted finalists who will battle it out at the final pitch are; Moyo Health Care, a health social enterprise with the goal of easing the burden of accessing health care in Malawi, Cedar Cultural Centre, a financial technology startup called Grow Malawi, UG and Chuchu a social enterprise that is adding value to oil seeds sourced from cooperatives, and a vegetable and fruit preservation social enterprise called Go Loco. The winner will walk away with MK20,000,000.
Commenting on the progress of the challenge, one of the organizers and Founder of mHub Rachel Sibande hailed the participants for submitting their business proposals during the challenge.
“We got a good response from emerging entrepreneurs all over the country. People submitted quality ideas that it was a tall order for the reviewers to come up with the final five. We are happy that the challenge is now ending. We wait to see who gets the prize and start working on their business,” saidSibande. She further emphasized on the need to enhance access to finance, technical expertise and market linkages for entrepreneurs.
Standard Bank Acting Chief Executive Officer, Temwani Simwaka hailed the 5 finalists for making it to the end of the challenge.
“It’s inspiring and refreshing to see young people who are passionate about driving their own businesses,” said Simwaka, who emphasized on Standard Bank’s commitment to growing the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Malawi. “The sponsorship is in line with our purpose together driving growth to build mother Malawi and the youth are an integral part to drive our economy. “
The What Will You Do with MK20 Million Kwacha challenge was started to foster the development of sustainable business solutions to prevailing socio-economic obstacles that can be alleviated through entrepreneurship. There were 62 applications of whichTwenty business ideas were trained and incubated for a week. Five finalists will be battling it out this Thursday for a cool 20 million Kwacha as startup capital which is hard to come by for emerging entrepreneurs in Malawi.
This challenge has been organized by mHub, Her Liberty and the flagship Lilongwe Pitch Night Platform; a monthly pitching event organized by mHub; an incubator for emerging entrepreneurs.