HUBS CURBING UNEMPLOYMENT

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Inside and outside look of the Blantyre Hub.

THE CURRENT high rates of unemployment have not spared Malawi youth who form 60 percent of the country’s population.

One effective way of minimizing the challenge is through entrepreneurship, which usually demands capital and innovative skills.

Financial and skill challenges hinder young people to start entrepreneurial activities and break unemployment circles.

With little financial muscle and no or less skills, several individuals and businesses are climbing the business ladder through Blantyre and Limbe Entrepreneurship Hubs in Blantyre city.

Founded by seven independent entrepreneurs, the two hubs successfully offer office spaces and administrative services to new entrepreneurs.

The fresh entrepreneurs also undergo business coaching from qualified business merchants.

The hubs bring several business minds and offices under one roof.

The services are offered at an a bit lower price than the costs that are incurred when running a solo office.

Blantyre Hub manager, who is a qualified Social Entrepreneur, Dineo Mkwezalamba, puts it clear that one of the hub’s main goal is to minimize the costs of starting a new business in the country.

“We have a lot of people that want to start business, but if they go in town, for example, they will have to pay rentals, secretarial services and cleaners which is expensive.

“We give our members administrative support, we have a receptionist,” explained Mkwezalamba.

At only K16 thousand per month, an entrepreneur gets an office, free water supply, and ‘no-blackout’ electricity supported by a solar system at the facilities.

The hub also accommodates what it calls, Gold Members who are allowed to employ up to three supporting staff members at a monthly fee of K46 thousand and enjoy free monthly utilities.

Great business brands that have been nurtured and sprout from the Hub include HD Plus Creations owned by a youthful renowned Malawian video producer, Sukez.

Blantyre Hub has 33 full time members, while the Limbe Hub boasts of 31 members.

One of the members, 27-year-old Mwai Shora, successfully and comfortably operates his firm called Nathan James Construction just two years after completing his studies at University of Malawi.

Among several services, the hubs also offer mentorship, internship and support a sister hub in Zomba.

For new entrepreneurs who win big contracts but lack financial support, they are offered loans by the hubs.

Once the contracts have been implemented, the business owners pay back with much fair conditions.

This offer chances to upcoming entrepreneurs to venture into sustainable business thereby minimizing the unemployment rates.

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