Ending aid dependency in Malawi

Business skills training

People at a business skills and marketing skills training course in Malenga Mzoma.

More than fifty people attended a business skills and marketing training course in Malenga Mzoma last month, in the hope that they can receive small loans to start a business or develop an existing one.

Each prospective loantaker will have to produce a basic business plan before they receive their loan, the ‘entry level’ for which is 80,000 kwacha (about £70 or $78). While many of the attendees were first-timers, there were also some who had received loans from Capacity prior to mid-2020 when the Covid pandemic halted the programme.

Enabling people to control their own circumstances is vital to combatting poverty in a sustainable way. By being able to secure an income, families can gradually piece together a lifestyle that is no longer desperate. A quarter of the families in Malanga Mzoma are subsistence farmers which means they grow just enough to eat and have no actual income.

Although less than 1% of the families in Malenga Mzoma will receive loans this time, it will make a huge difference to those 50 households. They will acquire a modicum of spending power and that will help others, not in the loans programme, to thrive because there will be a larger pool of people with spending power – existing businesses and traders will benefit, these micro-businesses will employ others as assistants as well, making the local economy grow.

This round of loans is being facilitated by Capacity working alongside the local Area Development Committee (ADC) – a 15-strong body that represents the 50 villages of the Malenga Mzoma area. The ADC has helped identify trustworthy people to be considered for loans and will help monitor their progress.

Photos: some of the training course attendees and Emily Nkhoma, Capacity’s Manager who led the training team.

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