MICRO, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs, MSMEs, in five districts located in the central region of Malawi are soon going to be equipped with business skills amid a fragile economy and unconducive trade environment.
The six month programme is to be executed with funding from the government of Germany and the European Union in partnership with the ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.
Entrepreneurs operating in Lilongwe, Mchinji, Kasungu, Salima and Nkhotakota districts will undergo the course called MSME loop.
Its primary goal is to help MSMEs develop their business knowledge and capabilities.
It will also seek to provide expert answers to frequently asked questions by entrepreneurs in Malawi.
They include understanding profit making, operational costs and how one can use their entrepreneurial skills and knowledge to grow their businesses.
Currently businesses based in the five districts are applying to be selected for the course. They have until 17 August to express their interest to take part in the training.
Eligible candidates are to those that have interests in either Soya, Groundnut, Cassava and Sunflower agronomy.
Agronomists need to demonstrate interest to expand their investment in the industry.
They also have to exhibit socio-economic contribution in their communities including offering job opportunities.
Organisers of the business training and coaching loop are asking interested entrepreneurs to send their applications to trade or agriculture extension development officers in their respective districts.
Experts say government’slack of consistency in policy implementations, poor allocation of resources and focus on production while paying little attention to extension services and market linkages are some of the issue that are leading to the sluggish development of MSMEs in Malawi.
They also push the blame to financial institutions as their high borrowing rates continue to cripple the country’s Micro, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs.
It is said that the private sector is failing to seize various opportunities and is showing a lack of innovation and competitiveness.
Others are criticising donors like the German government for promoting dependency on aid through handouts.