Malawi Young Promising Entrepreneurs (Southern Africa). Rachel Sibande, Malawian Founder, mHub. 30-year-old Sibande of Malawi is the founder of her country’s first technology hub. mHub, which she launched in November 2013, is an incubator for technology startups with a special focus on building young technology entrepreneurs through training, skills development and mentorship. Being the first of its kind in Malawi, the hub is a new concept that most people do not understand. Sourcing initial funding locally was a challenge to the extent that it was a Dutch donor Hivos that came forth to fund the mHub, said Rachel. The goal of mhub is to become a leading ICT think tank in Malawi and the region. It also facilitates linkages to assignments and job opportunities between the industry and the technology entrepreneurs.
The ‘technopreneurship’ Environment in Malawi
Rachel describes the ‘technopreneurship’ environment in Malawi as young and challenging due to some constraints like high cost of Internet access. “There are a couple of young technology enthusiasts in Malawi. Most are from colleges, fresh with ideas and keen to develop applications that can solve key bottlenecks in the industry or in our communities. The industry is however flooded with off the shelf applications that are simply maintained by the local experts or even at times can only be maintained by foreign experts. This creates a vacuum in technology entrepreneurship, as local enterprises in the trade are not given the chance to flourish. From a technical perspective, Internet access is pretty expensive in Malawi which is a hindrance to access to technical resources for developers and other technology enthusiasts that constantly need to be up to date with new trends in packages and information.
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