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Enhancing Women and youth economic empowerment through value chains

build the capacity of women and youth to sustainably setup, run and grow enterprises in different value chains

Photo of Austin  Moyo
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What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

As the population of the youth and women is constantly increasing globally, their expectations remain high, especially that of job opportunities. Contrary to popular perceptions, unemployment is one of the main challenges facing low-income countries like Malawi. Beyond simple underemployment, Malawi is challenged to address underemployment; women and young people are compelled to take low-productivity, low-wage jobs for their very survival. Millions of young men and women in the rural and semi-urban areas, compared to those living in urban areas, struggle more to find better-paying jobs and opportunities to escape poverty for themselves and their families hence migrating to urban areas/cities or across the boarder. Unemployment Rate in Malawi remained unchanged at 5.90 percent in 2017 from 5.90 percent in 2016. Due to the shrinking job market, most young people have made their way into entrepreneurship, however, a lot of challenges have engulfed the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Malawi. some of the Key challenges that lead to stagnant growth for start-ups in Malawi includes; lack of knowledge of market, limited knowledge on financial management, lack of leadership skills and professional etiquette, limited access to business development support services and largely access to financing. Addressing the challenge, Mzuzu Entrepreneur hub will run programs that are aimed at supporting motivated women and young entrepreneurs to grow their capacity in running and managing businesses. This will include running a business incubation program which are meant to grow the skills and knowledge in running a business for women and youth but also run acceleration programs which will be financing the businesses. Our special sauce to running these programs is based on building the relationship with the people as last year we come out with a community builder award by Social Impact Incubator Malawi under Segal Family foundation

Geography of focus (500 characters)

This idea target Mzuzu city one of the fastest growing cities in Malawi. The city boarders with Mzimba and Nkhatabay districts which according to the national statistical office are districts that have high percentages of literacy hence a lot of people migrating to Mzuzu city in search of jobs. At the same time the city is close to the boarders of Tanzania and Zambia therefore offering business incubation services in the city will enhance productivity of the city for exports

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

The proposed project will create room for partnerships and collaboration towards economic empowerment in the community. Malawi being an agriculture based economy, this project will give live to innovative business ideas which will create market for the local farmers, transporters and other players in the market. The project will also enhance creation of jobs for both people of the move and neighbors creating a shared future of stability and promise.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

This idea looks at potential businesses from all sectors, that's creating a multi-sectoral approach to social problems in the community. from Tech, Agriculture value chains, education, health, transport, and environment. the proposed project will hatch the ideas in real businesses and accelerate them to achieve maximum productivity and growth. In all our programming, the emphasis is on creating social enterprises. besides the core value of the business to make money, through this project we will encourage beneficiaries to consider the economic, social and environmental impact made by their enterprise.

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

Implementing this proposed idea will bring a huge impact in the community that we are focusing on: Mzuzu Entrepreneur hub believes that growth in number of small businesses formed, job creation, establishment of an entrepreneurial environment, and contribution to the diversification of the economy will lead to a better community. Through implementation of this project, we expect proper integration of the people on the move and neighbours. this will reduce the rate of crimes in the community as people on the move have at many times been named criminals. This project will also reduce the risk of vulnerability for women and girls on the move who have ended up in prostitution and drug trafficking. Reduction in the number of cases relating to drug trafficking, number of jobs created and capital (re)invested in the business will signify a positive impact being created.

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

Looking at the level of unemployed youth and women in the community, it really call for more action to be done. the growth in number of young offers, teenage pregnancies, use of drugs and substances, prostitution signifies that women and young people are unproductive in the community. This project is important in this community as it will help bring to life enterprising ideas that will create employment to the people on the move and the local but also create market for local producers and transporters from different value chains

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

Mzuzu city is an urban setting with a mixture of people from Indians, Tanzanians, and largely Malawians from the ethnic groups of Ngonis, Tonga, Tumbuka, chewa and Lomwe. The major economic activities range from selling agriculture produce, electronics, clothing, among other value chains. The population is predominately youthful posing a huge pressure on the already shrinking job market. Most young people and women in the area are literacy hence chasing formal employment. Most people in Mzuzu are people on the move who have run from war in their countries or clan conflicts from their villages within Malawi in search of greener pastures. However, existence of peace and co-existence in the community makes it a conducive environment for project implementation as it will enable us reach and achieve the most desired results for the project.

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

Mzuzu Entrepreneur hub has created a community of business developer and mentors that will help in the implementation of this project providing technical support to the upcoming entrepreneurs who are the beneficiaries this project. Mzuzu Entrepreneur hub works with individual mentors such as Mr Harrison Kalua who is the managing partner for Rose&Harris Consultants, Mr Wesly Msungeni an Entrepreneurship coach, Geoffrey Mfune currently consulting for Northern region water board and Cecilia Mseteka founder of Nyaluanga farms. We also work with standard bank Mzuzu branch who are the financial advisors and managers for micro and macro enterprises

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

Mzuzu Entrepreneur hub will work with the Ministry of youth and sports, Ministry of Gender and community development, Technical entrepreneurial and vocational education and Training Authority (TEVETA) who will support in identifying, monitoring and providing other vocational skills to the identified beneficiaries. Mzuzu Entrepreneur hub is also will also work with ACADES an Agriculture marketing and extension service provider who will bring in expertise to the beneficiaries that seek to venture into agriculture value chain.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Arriving and settling at a destination community

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Service: A new or enhanced service that creates value for end beneficiaries

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Prototype: We have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

Group or Organization Name

Mzuzu Entrepreneur hub

Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

Mzuzu E-Hub is an entrepreneurship and innovation hub providing shared working space and technical assistance to start-up and early stage companies by linking them to a network of services for success. We believe that growth in the number of small businesses formed, job creation, establishment of an entrepreneurial environment, and contribution to the diversification of the economy will lead to a better Malawi.

Website URL:

Type of submitter

  • We are a registered Non-Profit Organization

Organization Headquarters: Country


Organization Headquarters: City / State


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Photo of Austin  Moyo

Dear Uchenna

Thank you so much for your feedback, it is really true that people with disability are the most underserved and in Malawi they are not exceptional. Our organization strategic approach has highlighted deliberate effort to working with and empowering people with disabilities. For instance, last year we worked with two (2) Groups of disabled youth and women from Mzuzu Challenge changers and Mchangautuwa disability group. This was through the Coummunity outreach program that we run called Tikwere Livelihood program.

However, we are very much open to learning new approaches to inclusive socioeconomic empowerment creating a saver environment for everyone. We would like to learn from your expertise of the issue and you can write a direct mail to or

Looking forward to your support. thank you once again Uchenna

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