SUPPORTING MALAWIAN ENTREPRENEURS TO BUILD THEIR LOCAL BRANDS
On a stacked supermarket shelf, the packaging on your product matters. New local brands often struggle to make their stamp in the market place amongst long-standing international giants that have graced shelves of supermarkets for generations. These young brands have the task of attracting their potential customer’s attention to look at their product and try their brand. The first step in acquiring that customer is catching their eye on the shelf.
Growth Accelerator works to support ventures with unique branding and packaging materials to ensure their products stand out on supermarket shelves, on online platforms and other professional channels. The programme provides financial support of about USD40,000 that can go towards financing packaging material to improve the outlook of a brand. This is coupled by business development technical assistance that helps the ventures identify their customers, their value proposition and align their brand and packaging to their target customer or demographic.
The programme supported Honey Products Industries a honey processing company. The company supports a value chain of 300 farmers that supply raw honey for processing and packaging. With a saturated local market of honey in Malawi – the company’s standout element is their squeeze bottle design for honey. In Malawi, most products are packaged in 500ml plastic tubs with red lids. These are used for all sorts of product packaging including Honey, Chili mixes and Achar. The novel and functional design of the bottle is a great introduction into the market place.
The programme also supported Wijays Enterprises a detergent making business that produces a variety of cleaning products such as dish-wash liquid, washing soap, hand-soap and toilet cleaner. Similar to their fellow ventures, they used locally available low quality and generic packaging for their products. With support from the programme the enterprise has purchased unique packaging material that complements their brands and products. Below is an image of the new dish-wash liquid bottle packaging and a sample of the juice bottle packaging they used previously for their product.
The programme also offers pro-bono design and image consulting services for the ventures in the programme. Ventures receive support in the development of websites and corporate image design services for products such as logos. Cohort 2 ventures, JAT Investments: a button mushroom farm; Balaka Limeworks Limited: a lime processing factory; and Imani Investments: recyclable and re-usable mops; have received design support to improve their corporate image and stand out in their respective industries.
Growth Accelerator Malawi is an accelerator programme that works closely with Small and Medium businesses in Malawi to grow and scale within 2 years. The programme provides access to USD40,000; business development technical assistance and access to industry professionals as mentors, sages and guest speakers. The programme is implemented by mHub Malawi – an innovation and incubation hub in Malawi; and GrowthAfrica – a Kenyan business accelerator in several African countries. Growth Accelerator is supported by UNDP Malawi and The Royal Norwegian Embassy. The programme has partnered with four private sector investment partners that partly invest in the ventures in the programme.
By Yolanda Bulirani – Communications Manager