Dispelling the belief that females do not participate in TEVET as the sector is meant for males; female owners of Koko Bean Café and Gourmet Sandwich Shop emerged winners of the 2016 TEVETA Entrepreneurship Awards.

The duo, Thobekile Nthinda and Zilani Gondwe, walked away with prize money amounting to K800, 000.00, which according to Nthinda will be pumped into the growth of their business that provides healthy and happy meals in a relaxing natural environment.

“Our win today has proven that women can participate in TEVET too and not only that, but they can excel as well. We are doing it and we hope other women can emulate this and thrive with TEVET,” she said.

Aside from the monetary boost, the winning women will be linked to financial institutions, will be provided with mentorship and will be given business training.

According to the TEVET Authority Executive Director Dr. Ndione Chauluka, the TEVET Authority is mandated to instill an entrepreneurial culture that promotes self-employment and increases employment opportunities for the youth of Malawi. 

One strategy the Authority is using to fulfil this mandate is the TEVETA entrepreneurship awards which awards various outstanding TEVET entrepreneurs as a way of motivating other graduates to opt for entrepreneurship when they finish their studies

“The first category of the awards was the ‘TEVET Entrepreneur awards’ was meant to recognise individuals that are doing skills related businesses and in the process creating a pool of role models to motivate and encourage graduates and current trainees of the TEVET system to start their own enterprises with a view of promoting self-employment target and best business plan awards. 

“The second category ‘Best Business Plan Award’ was intended to encourage TEVET graduates to start thinking about various enterprises that they can do whilst at school so that when they finish they should easily engage into their ventures the ‘TEVET Best Business Plan’ awards in the TEVET provider institutions,” he said.

The guest of honour for the ceremony, TEVET Authority Board Chairperson, Mr. Gilbert Chilinde encouraged the youth to make good use of the Opportunity Bank loan, a product of the TEVETA/ Opportunity Bank of Malawi partnership, intended to provide financial support to those with doable brilliant business ideas.

“This TEVETA/ Opportunity Bank of Malawi partnership comes to enhance the promotion and development of our graduates. We feel this is a very important complement to TEVET programmes and we believe this empowering the youth that are TEVET graduates for their personal development and of course the development of Malawi,” he said.

Chilinde applauded Opportunity Bank of Malawi for the role they are playing in promoting TEVET businesses, describing it as a bank that has a passion to develop people.

102 applications competed in the Best Business Plan award category and 15 winning applicants were awarded. In the Entrepreneur award category, there were 11 applications and 3 winning applicants were awarded. Each awardee was provided with money, and will be provided with linkage to financial institutions, mentorship and business training.

The following are the names of successful applicants from different technical colleges in the said Best Business Plan award category:

 

-Bricklaying, Thomson D Ligomeka - Namitete

-Vehicle Body Repair, Shupikai Savala - Lilongwe

-Motor Cycle Mechanics, Innocent Chidani - Nasawaand Mercy Pindani - Nasawa

-Automobile Mechanics, Aubrey Demba - Nasawa

-Carpentry and Joinery, Innocent Mwalimu - Nasawa

-Administrative studies, Andrew Thawe – Namitete and Alick Kachule - Namitete

-Food Production, Mwayi Chiwaya - Phwezi Women

-Tailoring, Ephiness Mbewe - SOS

-Welding and Fabrication, Elias Sande- Lilongwe

-General fitting, David Malichi - Lilongwe

-Fashion Arts and Beauty, Efrida Manda - Phwezi Women

-Refrigeration, Hopkings Kumwenda - Soche

-Electrical, Stanly Katulu- Don Bosco

-Agri- business Wisdom Nkunika and Moses Zulu - Phwezi Women

-Information Communication Technology, John and Benjamin - Don Bosco

 

The following are the names of successful applicants in the TEVET Entrepreneurs Award:

 

- First Prize- Koko Bean Café and Gourmet Sandwich Shop

- Second Prize-Fleet Tech Services

- Third Prize- Sisonke Traders

 

The Technical Entrepreneurial and Vocational Educational and Training (TEVET) Authority has been set to start recruiting students in its 12 Community Skills Development Centres spread across Malawi under a World Bank-funded project.

According to TEVET Authority Head of Projects and Development Mr. Ishmael Ali, the project aims at increasing access to TEVET, improving market relevance and result-orientation of supported skills development institutions in the selected priority areas, developing curricula for short skills upgrading programmes, providing equipment, training and upgrading staff capacity in selected institutions offering Automobile Technician Level Programmes of Master craftspersons.

Malawi hosted the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional forum on Technical and Vocational Education (TVET) aimed at sharing results of different Skills and Technical Education Programme (STEP) studies examining specific elements of the TEVET system in Malawi.