Kuomboka Participants Graduate with FESODEV

The ‘Kuomboka’ Business Development project with our Malawi partner, Foundation For Education And Social Development (FESODEV),  has upskilled 80 artisans from 40 businesses in Mchezi-Kanego, Lilongwe.

The project participants, all of whom had already established Tailoring, Carpentry and Electrical & Solar Installation enterprises at the start of the project in June 2023, were identified by FESODEV and community leaders as entrepreneurs who would benefit from additional support to build more productive and competitive businesses.

Working in small business groups, the men and women received training to improve their working knowledge in basic business management, with topics including: business planning, calculating profit and loss,  pricing products, keeping accounts and customer records and customer service.   In addition, each group undertook a training placement under the guidance of a ‘master’ trainer, to acquire further technical trade skills.

As the project draws to a close, the artisans return to their businesses with improved technical skills, a greater capacity in business management and life skills, all of which will help them to maintain a regular and sustainable income through a flourishing business.

Each participant has also received a kit of quality tools refurbished by Tools for Self Reliance.


The ingredients for success

Evidence suggests that vocational training coupled with business skills and entrepreneurship produces stronger and market ready graduates as compared with trainees without any business skills. Consequently, developing business skills for trainees of vocational training will enhance access to employment for jobseekers, including the long-term unemployed and people far from the labour market. This combination of skills development will promote sustainable integration of young people into work through self-employment, entrepreneurship and business creation including innovative micro, small and medium sized enterprises.

Refurbished sewing machines and start up kits support tailoring trainees

Selecting and investing in the right trade for the local market is key to the success of the participating businesses and at the heart of transforming the artisan’s long-term income.  The peri-urban areas of Lilongwe are growing rapidly, and new home-building and new homes provide excellent prospects for carpenters and joiners, both for self-employment and with larger scale developments for sub-contracted work.

Our project has also introduced the community to Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA), which are an ideal way for artisans from rural and semi-urban households, who have no access to formal banking services, to access micro loans to invest in their businesses.

Participant households will benefit from an improved regular and sustainable income source leading to improved living standards, educational opportunities and well- being with increased health awareness, helping disease prevention and allow them to make more informed decisions.
Local Community will have increased work opportunities.

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June 2024








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