Ministry, PPPC Empower Export-Ready Women Entrepreneurs through Digital Boot Camp

Machika (third left), Kachepa (second left), officials from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and participants pose for a photo during the Camp

The Ministry of Trade and Industry in collaboration with the Public Private Partnership Commission (PPPC) held a transformative 4-day ‘Digital Boot Camp for export-ready women entrepreneurs’ in Liwonde, Machinga.

The digital boot camp aimed to enhance the capabilities of 21 export-ready women entrepreneurs by imparting them with vital digital skills.

These skills were envisioned to catalyze their ability to market and sell their products and services through online platforms, thus expanding their business horizons.

This initiative was made possible with funding from the Digital Malawi Project (DIGMAP), specifically under the ‘Luntha ndi Chuma’ Digital Skills Development and Innovation Training Programme.

Speaking on the sidelines of the camp, Director of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Ministry of Trade and Industry Patrick Machika urged the women entrepreneurs to leverage the essential digital skills and technologies available to propel their businesses forward in the global marketplace.

Machika: Leverage available essential digital skills and technologies

“We would like to spur export-ready women entrepreneurs to take advantage of the fundamental technologies available to advance their businesses by exporting their products and services to other countries using online platforms,” said Machika.

He further emphasized the potential of digital exports to contribute to the national economy by generating foreign exchange and enhancing the revenue streams of participating businesses, ultimately uplifting the livelihoods of women entrepreneurs.

On the barriers to women entrepreneurs’ progression in the trade industry, Machika highlighted the prevalent challenges women entrepreneurs face in accessing international markets for their products and services, emphasizing the pivotal role of digital skills in overcoming these barriers.

He said: “Women have unique challenges that affect them, especially in terms of barriers to getting markets. In this regard, we are targeting them just to unlock these specific challenges”.

He then hinted at the continuation of similar initiatives tailored to empower other aspiring entrepreneurs within the trade industry, highlighting the commitment to fostering a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.

On this part, ICT Partnership Analyst for DIGMAP Beatrice Kachepa reiterated the Project’s commitment to advancing ICT skills, entrepreneurship, and creativity among women entrepreneurs in the trade industry.

Kachepa: We are committed

Kachepa said: “Through funding the digital boot camp, we are advancing one of the Primary aims of the ‘Luntha ndi Chuma’ Digital Skills Development and Innovation Training Programme which is advancing ICT skills, entrepreneurship, and creativity in the country”.

Computer Clinic, a technology (tech) hub under the ‘Luntha ndi Chuma’ Programme, trained the women.

In a separate interview, the Managing Director of the hub, Sam Masikini affirmed the technology hub’s dedication to equipping export-ready women entrepreneurs with essential digital skills and knowledge.

Pledged to help the women entrepreneurs-Masikini

He then pledged to facilitate the setup of online stores and other digital platforms for participants to showcase and promote their products and services effectively.

One of the export-ready women entrepreneurs, Vera Mlia Sherrif for Studio for Humanity Limited expressed gratitude for the opportunity to enhance her digital skills, recognizing the potential to serve her clients better and improve her business prospects.

She commended the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Commission for empowering export-ready women entrepreneurs across the country.

ATTETIVE: export-ready women entrepreneurs during the camp