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Expert tips graduates on entrepreneurship

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A South Africa based Malawian businessman, has tipped graduates and investors planning to venture into the engineering and construction space to be patient and follow a proper learning curve to be successful.

Tione Mdina, who is also Managing Director of Mdina Engineering, said in an interview that many startups have died because investors do not want to start small and learn the practical works before establishing their businesses.

“There are different sections of engineering that they [fresh graduates] should master such as management of the business, the maintenance part of it and the designing to be more informed on decisions they make.

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“They should also join relevant bodies that will enhance their capacity such as the Malawi board of engineers and attend short courses for continuous development of their capacity because any industry now is dynamic and evolving,” Mdina said.

He added that graduates should be willing to get their hands dirty to bridge the theory and practical knowledge gained.

Recently, the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (Nasme) said 55 percent of startup businesses died naturally in the year 2019 mainly due to lack of experience.

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National Chairperson of the Association, William Mwale, indicated that many of the businesses that could not be sustained were headed by people that had just graduated from institutions of higher learning but also people that did not want to seek for advice from experienced entrepreneurs.

“Theory and practical are quite different parameters, when one graduates from college and knows profit and loses, it does not guarantee that they can run businesses successfully, when it comes to practical they face some challenges.

“For example businesses may not run for three days and it becomes an issue or perhaps they imported some materials and are not in on time it becomes an issue so seeking advice from those that are experienced is critical,” Mwale said.

Mdina engineering is a South Africa registered company that focuses on engineering consultancy and construction focusing on civil works.

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