Some local firms seem to have bought in to the call that 30 percent of business should be given to local entrepreneurs.
President Peter Mutharika made the call last year when he launched the Buy Malawi Strategy (BMS) to promote consumption of locally produced goods and services, empower local businesses, generate employment and stimulate economic growth.
People’s Trading Centre (PTC) Limited and Sunbird Tourism Limited are some of the companies which have heeded the call as they contract local entrepreneurs to supply them with goods and services.
Dorothy Gama and Phalles Mamba are local businesspeople who supply vegetable and fruits to PTC.
Before PTC roped them in, they had challenges to make ends meet. But today they testify that they earn enough to pay school fees for their children and put food on the table.
Gama supplies the chain store with vegetables four times in a week.
The Chirimba-based mother of three has been trading with PTC since 1984 and she finds it fruitful.
“My take home drastically increased since I sealed the deal with PTC. I wake up every morning with the hope that whatever the case, I will sell my produce and make something out of it.
“This is much better than when I was selling my vegetables at the market because I was not sure that my produce will be bought.
“I have benefited a lot from my contract with PTC. I have bought a plot where I intend to build a house. I also support my husband to pay school fees for our children. I have also used the proceeds to diversify into livestock business,” she explains.
Mamba is also excited with her contract with PTC because she makes profits out of her agreement with the chain store.
“My dreams of owning a house started taking shape after the opportunity to trade with PTC opened in 2007. The past nine years have been great as I see the fruits of our partnership.
“Apart from building a house, I am also into pig farming which brings in an extra income to support my family.
“In a good month, I make in excess of K70 000 which I use to buy basic needs for my children,” she says.
Gama and Mamba’s story are not different from that of Edna Banda who supplies vegetables to Sunbird Tourism Limited, another company supporting small-scale entrepreneurs.
Banda, a Chirimba Township resident, boasts of living a normal life through vegetable selling to the hotel chain.
PTC marketing manager Chikumbutso Natasha Kaphuka told Business News in an interview on Friday that the move is simply meant to empower the local entrepreneurs.
“As a local company, we have the interest of Malawians at heart. It is in this regards that we are looking no further than getting these items from local business people,” she says.
Her sentiments are also echoed by Sunbird Tourism Limited acting chief executive officer Maureen Kachingwe.
She said her company supports and empowers local businesses as one way of delivering its commitment to