By Wahard Betha
Small and Medium Enterprise Development Institute (SMEDI) has advised young entrepreneurs to venture into business partnerships as one way of dealing with challenges facing their businesses.
Speaking during 265 Pitch event in Lilongwe, CEO for SMEDI Rodrick Chattaika said young entrepreneurs in the country are facing challenges including lack of financial support and technical skills, which can be addressed through partnerships.
Chattaika said: “We want to encourage the entrepreneurs to rely on partnerships because one might have feasible ideas and another one resources. If these two merge, they can improve their image amongst themselves and therefore excel in their businesses.”
He said on its part, from the year 2018 to 2020 SMEDI has been working in partnerships with other stakeholders including National Bank, NBS Bank, Malawi Enterprise Development Fund, Synergy and other development banks.
Chattaika said through the partnerships, SMEDI is able to access services that entrepreneurs are lacking as well as giving the banks an opportunity of meeting upcoming business gurus.
SMEDI supported 265 Pitch event as one of its programs that gives courage to young entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas, and gain support from financial institutions.
Chattaika said the event also helps instill entrepreneurship spirit in people who get motivated by fellow entrepreneurs.
“As you know many youths in the country, even if they have the potential to innovate, are the ones who are highly affected in terms unemployment. So if we can harness their skills we can create more entrepreneurs in the country who will substantially contribute to country’s economy,” he said.
In her remarks, Deputy Minister of Labour Vera Kantukule concurred with SMEDI on the issue saying for someone to succeed in business, a partner is required.
Kantukule said: “We have people who are good at marketing while others at production. They have to come together to create a successful business entity.”
“If you look at western culture, a lot of enterprises are working as partnerships and are exceling on the market.”
She, however, said she is impressed with the growing number of young entrepreneurs in the country saying the development will help to reduce the unemployment rate which is growing at an alarming rate.
In the October 2020 265 Pitch, Mtengo Wakumunda company specialized in production of porridge flour emerged as the winner, seconded by Adamant Furniture with Adas Season Farms coming on the third position.
SMEDI is a parastatal under the Ministry of Trade, and was established in 2013 with three departments of business information and training; planning and research; and finance and administration.