National Youth Council of Malawi (Nycom)’s youth basket fund, which seeks K1 billion to support young entrepreneurs, has so far raised K30 million and trained 670 young entrepreneurs.
Nycom chief executive officer Dingiswayo Jere said this on Thursday during a youth financial literacy training aimed at imparting business skills at Mzuzu’s Entrepreneurship Hub.
He said: “The youth are pushing us so much and would want to see this fund fully operational. All we want to do is to have the fund reach the K1 billion.”
Jere said his organisation wants youths to become empowered with entrepreneurship skills and create jobs.
However, Jere said access to finance is a major challenge for young entrepreneurs; hence, his organisation is discussing with commercial banks to offer tailor-made loans with lower interest rates for the youth.
“We have also been working with Malawi Enterprise Development Fund to have tailor-made youth products which have now been initiated,” he said.
According to Jere, those who cannot meet the conditions of financial lending institutions will have access to finances through the youth innovation fund.
“This is a contributory fund which is self-propagating and self-managed. Therefore, any defaulter will be followed up by the youth themselves,” he explained.
Jere also said his organisation is also linking the youth with development partners to fund the activities.
In an interview, one of the Mzuzu-based youths, Vanessa Nyirenda said the training will fill gaps that most youth entrepreneurs have been experiencing.