Meet Elias Mbewe: An Entrepreneur From Mtsiliza, Lilongwe

At Tingathe, our mission is to create a society where the most vulnerable and marginalized individuals are empowered to transcend acute poverty, fortify their resilience, invest in their futures, and ultimately thrive. To fulfill this mission, we collaborate with young people, community leaders, women involved in small businesses, and school-going children. Our aim is to provide them with a diverse range of skills that enable them to flourish in their communities.

At the heart of our initiatives lies the Tingathe Training Program, which serves as our core program. Through this program, we provide training to young people in leadership and entrepreneurship. Participants acquire knowledge and skills related to personal leadership, financial literacy (with a focus on money management), customer service, business plan development, and entrepreneurship, among other valuable areas. The primary objective is to equip young individuals with the abilities necessary to break free from the shackles of poverty, build resilience, invest wisely, and thrive within their communities.

One remarkable success story within our program is Elias Mbewe, a recipient of our training. Elias shared his inspiring journey, detailing how our program transformed his life. While studying at Tingathe, Elias began saving money after learning about the importance of savings. By the time he completed the Tingathe Training Program in May 2023, he had saved a substantial amount of 58,000 Kwacha, which he then invested in a grocery business. Elias established his shop in Msiliza, Lilongwe.

Determined to make his business thrive, Elias diligently applied the concepts and skills he acquired at Tingathe. Despite negative comments from some of his friends who considered his initial investment of 58,000 Kwacha to be small, Elias was undeterred. He firmly believed that, armed with the knowledge and skills he had gained at Tingathe, his business would succeed. He put these concepts into practice, with a particular emphasis on the principle of ‘spend less and save more.’ As a result, his business not only succeeded but thrived.

Elias’s determination and success have turned the tables, as his initially skeptical friends now seek his guidance on how to start their own businesses. Elias has assisted two of his friends, both of whom have become successful entrepreneurs in Mtandire. This achievement is a source of great excitement for us at Tingathe, as it exemplifies our mission to train and empower young people to become catalysts for positive change within their communities.

Elias shared a remarkable aspect of his journey. The business has brought about a profound transformation in his life. Previously, he struggled to meet basic necessities such as clothing, food, and shelter. There were times when he went to bed hungry. However, he proudly declares that those days are now behind him. Elias can now afford to purchase and enjoy a variety of foods, provide himself and his family with quality clothing, and even embark on building a house. He has also acquired a one-acre farm that he plans to cultivate with different crops in the upcoming rainy season. Additionally, he invested in a welding machine worth 250,000 Kwacha, with plans to open a workshop and employ two young community members to run the business.

Elias’s story serves as evidence that entrepreneurship can be a solution to the challenges of poverty and unemployment faced by young people in our country. By equipping young individuals with the essential knowledge and skills needed for entrepreneurship, we can contribute to the development of our nation. Young entrepreneurs like Elias are essential to achieving the goals set out in Malawi’s Agenda 2063, where we aspire to become an inclusive, prosperous, and self-reliant industrialized upper-middle-income country. Our aim is for our development needs to be primarily funded internally. At Tingathe, we are dedicated to making this vision a reality as we continue to empower people with a diverse set of skills to thrive within their communities.

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