Mzuzu E-Hub: Changing the face of Social Innovation

Q. What is the name of your start-up, social enterprise, or innovation?

Mzuzu E-Hub

Q. Where did you grow up and what/who inspired you to set up your start-up, social enterprise, or innovation?

I grew up in various districts in Malawi including Rumphi, Mzimba, Blantyre and Mzuzu to mention a few. As a young start up entrepreneur you are bound to experience various challenges including affordable working space, learning opportunities, access to financing, networking opportunities, being a part of a community etc some of which I solely got driven to create and build a platform that will provide such opportunities for fellow young people and provide solutions for various challenges being faced within our communities.

Q. In what year did you start your start-up, social enterprise, or innovation?

2017

Q. What does your start-up, social enterprise, or innovation do? What problem does it intend to solve?

Mzuzu E-Hub is an entrepreneurship and innovation hub that supports youth led start up and early stage businesses by linking them to a network of services for success. We believe that growth in the number of small businesses formed, job creation, establishment of an entrepreneurial environment, and contribution to the diversification of the economy will lead to a better Malawi. The main problems we are working to solve are youth unemployment, poverty eradication and unstable business environment for startups.

Q. In which country/countries/regions does your start-up, social enterprise, or innovation operate?

Northern Region, Malawi and Southern Africa

Q. What is your website address?

https://www.mzuzuehub.org

Q. What has been the highlight since you started your start-up, social enterprise, or innovation?

Mzuzu E-Hub was recognised as the 2018 Community Builder awardee under the Social Impact Incubator Malawi program.

Q. What has been a key lesson learned so far?

Working towards bettering communities requires efforts from everyone in society and inclusiveness is key for innovation to thrive. We have utilised collaborative efforts by engaging various stakeholders in our initiatives of which has yielded amazing results.

Q. What makes your start-up, social enterprise, or innovation worthy of investment? Give us 3 reasons (please elaborate on these).

1. We have a clear growth and sustainability plan which will see our reach and impact grow. 2. We are open for collaboration with various stakeholders in the implementation of our programs. 3. We utilised a human centered approach for all our programs which have proved to be quite effective since inception.

Q. Where do you want your start-up, social enterprise, or innovation to be in five years?

1. Supporting 35+ start-up companies in Bizcubation program annually;

2. Reach 40,000 students and 986 youth and women led SMEs with
   
entrepreneurship education;

3. Raise $200,000 to setup an investment fund for startup financing support;

4. Set up a business angel network(E-Hub Angels) with at least 30 members;

5. Have at least one school constructed in a newly identified community;

6. Have three community resource centres established in surrounding districts; and

7. Focus on infrastructure development- office space, innovation labs, conference facilities.

Q. What are your 3 key tips for aspiring and budding (social) entrepreneurs? Please explain to us why.

1. Understand your business model and sustainability plan for ease of storytelling to your audience. 2. Be teachable - keep learning and improving your knowledge both as an innovator as well as for your enterprise.  3. Surround yourself with people that support you and your innovation.

Q. Why did you join Afrinection and why should others?

To network and learn from other social entrepreneurs and development enthusiasts.  To be a part of a community that supports social entrepreneurs through mentoring, training, exposure as well as investment opportunities.

Q. Is there anything else you would like to add?

I am happy to be a part of the community and for the opportunity to share our story. 

 

Connect with Wangiwe on Afrinection today by visiting their profile at https://afrinection.com/profile/1235/. If you are interested in being interviewed for a future blog plost, please create a free company or individual profile then click on the following link to complete an interview questionnaire:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdn_MPwIlg6cQ6JIqTF2ou8Ha6ey6IFEW-0W96qN3BuPzwnwQ/viewform?usp=sf_link.

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