United States of America (USA) Ambassador Virginia Palmer yesterday handed over a $12 945 (approximately K9.7 million) grant to mHub, Malawi’s first technology hub, to support the training and mentoring of 40 aspiring female entrepreneurs.
The training seeks to empower innovative young girls from disadvantaged backgrounds in business management and basic information communication technology (ICT) skills in a training course to run until December.
Speaking after the handover, Palmer said Malawian girls need support to realise their dreams because they are disadvantaged in various ways.
“Malawi has fantastic and smart girls that have what it takes to change this country and the world, but the reality is tough for most girls. Malawi ranks 174 out of 184 on the United Nations Gender Inequality Index. To excel they need some support and this is a programme that we have arranged to get them some of those skills,” she said.
Mhub chief executive officer Rachel Sibande said it is important for the girls to acquire and combine business and ICT innovation skills so that they can start their own entrepreneurial activities.
“The grant will help turn them from job seekers into job creators,” she said.
Sibande added that through the six-month training, the girls will be part of emerging entrepreneurs of mHub that are sent into the industry to exploit their skills including computer software and hardware repairing.