Malawi’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Builder
The plight of the youth in Africa is a cause for concern. Not only is Africa the fastest-growing continent in the world, but it is also the least developed. Unemployment is rife and this, in turn, leads to a perpetual cycle of poverty and unequal opportunity. The continent has immense potential and it is important that homegrown solutions be built. Especially when these solutions are coming from young people like Wangiwe Joanna Kambuzi, founder of Mzuzu E-Hub.
The story of Mzuzu E-Hub begins with a personal problem: as does many great entrepreneurial stories. While running her business, Wangiwe experienced challenges that made her realise the necessity of a network and ecosystem to support and empower others like her. Mzuzu E-Hub is an entrepreneurship and innovation hub that provides working space and technical assistance to start-up and early-stage companies by linking them to a network of services for success. Filling gaps in the Innovation Ecosystem also meant filling the information gaps that exist in Malawi regarding youth and entrepreneurship.
The social enterprise runs various innovative programs such as the Bizcubation Program that has to date incubated 30 young entrepreneurs and is currently incubating another cohort. The team also facilitates practical skills development through Entrepreneurship Education and Support, Mentorship and Coaching for students as well as Career and Motivational talks at Secondary school and University level.
Community development is important to Wangiwe. Mzuzu E-Hub also facilitates Infrastructure Development for Education and Health. Most recently, they assisted by constructing a Secondary school and Health Centre that has helped improve access to health facilities and education in the Chipunga Community in Nkhatabay. In addition, the enterprise has helped up to 120 students gain various multimedia and digital skills. Their SustainHubility Program has brought together 60 Social Innovators who are developing solutions to environmental challenges. Mzuzu E-Hub is helping with workshops and activities that will assist them in building effective models. To Wangiwe and her team, this is just the tip of the iceberg, Mzuzu E-Hub has many plans for the future. With efforts such as these, Africa will surely rise.