Changemaker: Ellen Chilemba

Country of Implementation: Malawi

65 percent of Malawians live below the poverty line of less than a dollar a day. Families under this 65 percent cannot afford to educate their children. At times just raising them is a burden; as such the female child is more likely to be wed off at a young age. This means she does not finish her education and joins the pool of the impoverished 65 percent. Entrepreneurship teaches us to look for needs in our communities and to identify these needs as opportunities for innovation. Most of these young females see a road out of poverty however they do not have the capital or motivation to take that challenge to stand up for themselves.

If these young females could be inspired, livened and given simple capital to take an initiative, they could definitely drive themselves out of poverty. Tiwale is an organization that seeks to create effervescent empowered young women that have terminated poverty through sustainable ideas that were built into structures that transformed communities from being poverty-stricken to entrepreneur-stricken. Our first step towards activating this vision is the two week entrepreneurial program we will host this July. The program will be carried out at a primary school near the capital city of Malawi; Lilongwe.

Our participants will be young girls aged 14-20 years old. The program will consist of a curriculum driving from entrepreneurship need-finding processes to implementation steps. Lessons will also include stories from typical local women who have sustained and educated themselves, stories of major entrepreneurs or innovators in the world like Muhammad Yunus or Wangari Maathai. Furthermore, after these two weeks, the girls will be challenged to form groups of 5 and present a sustainable business plan or initiative they wish to develop. Tiwale will then award the most brilliant, sustainable plans with start-up capital. They winners will be mentored by Tiwale through their business journey. Eventually these award winning young women will repay the loan and also become mentors to a younger group applying for a fund after a similar program.


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