There is hope among women entrepreneurs in the country that there will be easy business linkages and financing following the launch of a project dubbed 50 Million Africa Women Speak platform Thursday.
The platform has four areas: The research component, where women can get financial and non-financial information; linking area where people will create posts and share; chat where women entrepreneurs will be chatting and; group, where people will be sharing information.
Speaking during the launch, Minister of Trade Sosten Gwengwe emphasised the importance of the platform saying it would help women link with potential business partners.
He said the project would also open up a financing window for local women in business.
“While it is digital, we should also find ways to reach out to women who cannot access this. Therefore, stakeholders should localise this technology to reach to every woman,” Gwengwe said.
Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Wefare Patricia Kaliati said the platform was paramount because it would enable Malawian women to connect with others and provide them with access to trade and finance for businesses.
National Association of Business Women Chaiperson Barbra Banda said, with Covid disturbing trade patterns, doing businesses online is the way to go for women.
She added that the platform will give the women security and cut travelling costs.
One of female entrepreneurs Lilly Alfonso touted the platform as a tool which will benefit the entire value chain.
“Enough support does not mean financial resources only but connecting to other people that can support the initiatives as well,” she said.
The platform has so far been introduced in 15 out of 17 Comesa member states and Malawi has become the 10th country to launch it.
African Development Bank put aside $12.4 million for the project.
Justin Mkweu is a fast growing reporter who currently works with Times Group on the business desk.
He is however flexible as he also writes about current affairs and national issues.