The first Entrepreneurship Challenge of the Growth Accelerator Malawi has yielded an investment into 11 local innovative ventures that have been selected to form the first cohort of the Business Acceleration programme. The participating ventures operate in different sectors of the economy following a competitive entrepreneurship challenge set forth to impactful Malawian entrepreneurs, which ran from July to September 2018. In addition to substantive direct financial investments, the ventures will benefit from an intense 12-month technical assistance program on Business Acceleration, coupled with substantive risk capital injected in the company. The Business Acceleration kick-starts with a 3-day boot camp in Lilongwe on January 23rd to 25th.
With support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Royal Norwegian Embassy; MHub in partnership with GrowthAfrica, Accesserator and Kweza Partners, launched the Growth Accelerator Entrepreneurship Challenge in mid-2018 aimed at growing and scaling impactful and innovative Malawian enterprises with access to finance, technical assistance and mentorship. The Growth Accelerator Malawi fills in a market gap that supports local entrepreneurs to accelerate and scale their businesses. This business capacity deficit is further compounded by the limited access to financial investment opportunities. The Growth Accelerator – with its technical and financial elements – therefore invests in youthful businesses that have developed a business solution (product/and service) to a development challenge that demonstrates innovation and high potential to grow and scale to the broader socioeconomic benefit of Malawi.
The investment aspect is quite unique as the ventures match the Growth Accelerator contribution from the business itself or through Private Equity provided by the GA investment partners Accesserator and Kweza Partners.
On a macro-level, the Growth Accelerator Malawi Programme is actively striving towards being a catalyst for the ongoing development and growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Malawi. The aim is to promote an entrepreneurial agenda and fill an important gap in the start-up development continuum, whereby there is a significant lack of accelerators supporting business growth beyond incubation.
The 11 ventures selected are:
Thanthwe Farms, an innovative and inclusive agribusiness, specializing in and growing high value vegetables and fruits for supermarkets, individuals and hotels. The venture also trains and incubates aspiring farmers and agriculture students, including the youth and women.
Kombeza Foods, a food/dairy processing business providing nutritious and affordable dairy products to residents of Malawi.
Environmental Industries, an enterprise that produces and sells Bionitrate Fertilizer. By providing affordable bionitrate fertilizer, Environmental Industries is providing right to food for residents in Malawi.
Infinity Energy Solutions, produces smokeless, odourless briquettes from recycled charcoal dust called Nguyi Charcoal Briquettes. By recycling waste charcoal dust, the project is reducing pressure on the natural forest cover.
Wijays Enterprises, providers of locally produced soaps and detergents made with Malawi grown herbs. Wijays recruit’s farmers to grow priority crops and herbs and purchases harvested crops at agreed prices.
Honey Products Industries is a social enterprise that engages the youth to create a value chain out of organic honey by promoting sustainable bee keeping and offering markets for honey, therefore creating social, economic and environmental impacts.