FDH Bank Plc says it is geared to provide support by empowering young Malawian university graduates, who have innovative sustainable entrepreneurship project ideas that can help them to employ themselves and create other rooms for employment to fellow youths.
The programme, that was launched in December last year, falls under the Bank’s sustainable key pillar whose main objective is to empower the youths, women, young girls as well as the elderly.
Speaking at the event where FDH invested K45 million to Rise & Shine School, Chitera emphasized that they decided to come up with the program after getting concerned with the rising number of unemployment among graduates in the country.
“As you are aware, challenges of unemployment is not a secret at all. Majority of students think they will get employment soon after graduating, which is never the case.
“So, through this programme, we are trying to encourage students to start thinking of venturing into entrepreneurship and we have also been engaging lecturers to take a responsibility in encouraging their students to also think of a good business ideas which they can manage after finishing college.
“Today, we are impressed to see that after challenging these students last year during their symposium program where we asked them to come up with a business plan, they managed to introduce this school project,” Chitera said.
The FDH Bank Graduate Start-up initiative, the first of its kind in the financial services industry as well as the corporate world, was mooted after Chitera attended a symposium organised by MUBAS’ Faculty of Education & Media Studies — which impressed, Chitera as guest of honour.
After sharing with the rest of the FDH Holdings’ management team, they resolved to gather the students again for the real time presentations named FDH Graduate Start Ups, where the students were dared to present real-time business ideas and plans for possible injection of working capital.
Done at Sunbird Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre, the students — who formed nine real time companies — pitched their business ideas to a panel of 7 executive management of FDH Holdings, that included Chitera.
The panellists, that included FDH Money Bureau Managing Director, Daniel Pinto Khamula; First Discount House Managing Director Mike Chiwalo and several FDH Holdings heads of department, finally identified 5 for further nurturing.
After the nurturing and assessment, the most viable ones from the five were to get funding upon their graduation from MUBAS with continued mentoring by the financial services providers.
The nine companies the final year students formed then were Clean Energy of Enterprise; Direct-Connect Real Estate Solutions; Kuwali interior Design & Decoration; Clean Energy of Malawi; My Artistic Dream School of Art and Gallery; Rise & Shine Secondary School; The Public Eye; Umodzi Farm and Yours Truly Event Planning & Management.
They all presented from power points their management plans; capital projections; marketing strategies; mass media visibility as well as how to cope with challenges the country is facing through the CoVID-19 pandemic.
The five that were selected for further assessment and nurturing were Rise & Shine School; Clean Energy of Enterprise (CLEE); Direct-Connect Real Estate Solutions (Di-coRES); Kuwali interior Design & Decoration (KIDD) and My Artistic Dream (School of Art and Gallery).
At the Mulanje function on Tuesday, MUBAS Vice-Chancellor, Nancy Chitela, applauded FDH Bank for fulfilling their promise and introducing the program which she said will really help young graduates to open doors for their own job opportunities.
Chitela made it clear that most graduates are finding it hard to secure jobs due to lack of enough companies in the country who can accommodate them.
“It is true that most people believe that once they graduate they will get employed, but FDH Bank has come to change that culture by encouraging graduates to produce a good business venture.
“We we are now happy that our graduates managed to convince the bank and it is our expectation that a number of students will benefit from this program,” Chitela said.
Director for Rise & Shine Group, Cynthia Maele expressed he delight with for the support from FDH Bank, saying they decided to open the primary school in order to provide quality early childhood academic development so that they can easily reach their goals while contributing towards quality education in Mulanje District.
“Before we reached where we are today, we went through primary school stages,” she said. “So we considered establishing this school where children can acquire all the necessary education needs which they cannot access anywhere,” she said, while urging fellow graduates and students to consider pitching up business ideas after school in order to employ themselves.
Rise & Shine Group has a total of 8 members and started their operations on October 8, 2022 and has managed to employ over 20 members of staff.
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