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Youths demand speed on entrepreneurship policy

In the wake of biting economy and increased joblessness for the country’s young people, young entrepreneurs have called for the speedy enactment of a youth entrepreneurship policy.

Speaking at a business conference held in Mzuzu yesterday, delegates observed that the policy can help the youth leverage their position in launching their businesses.

Among the problems highlighted by the youth, difficulties in accessing loans from commercial banks was ranked highly.

Northern Region Youth to Youth Empowerment Coordinator Wangiwe Kambuzi told the gathering that it is high time government took, seriously the formulation of youth entrepreneurship policy, which she said will empower young people economically.

“Young people comprise 60 percent of Malawi’s total population, however a majority of them are jobless. Coming up with the policy would create diversified opportunities for the country’s youths,” said Kambuzi.

One of the delegates to the business conference, Limbikani Chimimba who runs a chicken farm business decried lack of appropriate collateral among the youth as a major stumbling block.

“Youth have innovative business ideas but such ideas die before conception due to lack of collateral. A start-up can’t have access to the kind of collateral sought by the commercial banks,” observed Chimimba.

He added that high lending rate at commercial banks pose yet another challenge to this ambitious crop of young people, who in turn fail to obtain loans to boost their businesses.

The conference was aimed at helping small-scale and medium enterprises understand of how they can formalise their businesses through registration of their businesses which would ensure payment of taxes to government and ease the youth’s access to bank loans.

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