Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism Francis Kasaila says the introduction of the Business Incubation Centre in Dowa will boost the growth of small and medium enterprises. (SMEs)
The minister said this on Monday in Dowa during the launch of the centre established with $1 million (about 738 million) grant from the Government of Indian.
Said Kasaila: “We normally sell raw materials, and the earnings are low, but when we add value the earnings increase. So, it is government’s agenda to launch the business incubation centres to ensure small and medium enterprises use it for value addition.”
On the challenges of start-up capital and the lack of markets for SMEs, the minister mentioned the launch of the Malawi Agricultural and Industrial Investment Corporation (Maiic), a vehicle to provide capital for SMEs.
Small and Medium Enterprise Development Institute (Smedi) chief executive officer Rhodric Chattaika said the business incubation centre stems from an agreement that the two governments—India and Malawi—signed four years ago to support the growth of businesses in Malawi.
The centre has five different types of machines which include one for making briquettes and composite manure to deal with challenges of climate change.
“The centre has in place agro-processing machines for value addition so that farmers can get value for money on the market,
India’s Acting High Commissioner Anil Suri said the Government of India believes in sharing the projects that have been successful in his country with partners such as Malawi.
He said: “India started implementing these business incubators way back in villages and towns and urban centres. People have opportunities to go and learn and start their own business.
“So, people are able to grow and sustain their business. That is what is contributing to India’s economic growth”.
Suri said the grant for the centre signifies his government’s commitment to supporting Malawi’s socio-economic development.
Business incubation programmes are often sponsored by private companies or municipal entities and public institutions such as colleges and universities.
Their goal is to help create and grow small businesses by providing them with necessary support and financial and technical services. n