We hope all you beautiful #LovePixies are keeping well. We wanted to share with you a little insight into one of the vital members of our team. Over time we want to introduce you to all our Malawian ambassadors so you can learn a little more about them, for today however, we have an incredible gent to introduce you too.
While in Malawi I had the pleasure to interview Wiseman, our entrepreneur trainer and it was amazing. Coming from a family of “business men” it was refreshing and inspiring to hear how commerce is the same no matter your background, no matter your budget; when you have skills and the knowledge to help people manage funds and grow their business into something big, well that’s just amazing. With Wisman, he isn’t turning dollar bills into millions, no, it’s more valuable than that, he helps train and manage local groups to learn how to be independent and self-sustainable for the long term and that is really beautiful.
So Wiseman, What is it that you actually do here in Malawi, tell us a little more about it?
“I am an entrepreneur trainer and community coordinator. I train [mostly] women in the local community in entrepreneurship skills and business management. This is helping people understand how to manage money and cash flow. I also work with gender equality for the women. I have already trained several groups, these groups were joined together with baby massage. Baby massage helps the women bond with their babies and feel supported by each other. Then they can work together to manage money, sell at market and earn to feed themselves and their families and save and continue to grow.”
AMAZING! Can you give us an example of how this works for the communities you work with?
“One particular group I have worked with, which is now run by another Love Support Unite [Malawian] ambassador named Brenda who works with me. This group was under performing. They were selling goods at market and the product was not selling well. We help the women make bread to sell primarily. Together with Brenda I went to visit with this group of women to see what was going wrong. I learnt that there was mis-management of funds, no money was being kept behind for the future. There was also a problem with “marketing”, the bread wasn’t being presented well and it was not of high quality or consistent. However, we worked with them to help them understand how to manage money and cash flow, how to keep the goods at the highest quality they can be and how to work together as a team.”
Wonderful stuff Wiseman, so now Brenda can look after them while you continue with other groups that need your help? Great! What would you say is the biggest problem you face?
“CAPITAL- We lack funds, that is our biggest problem. Of course, there is also a problem with financial skills. Sadly people receive small funds and spend it immediately on food instead of trying to make the money go further and help it multiply. The concept of business is hard to grasp here. People can’t see how to sell products at market one day and ensure they can go back day after day to always have money to rely on. However, we need more money to offer micro-loans to more groups to help them make/buy things to sell. We want to teach business skills to as many people as possible.”
So interesting! What would you say people are most grateful for when it comes to the skills you teach?
” The women are very grateful for the skills. They love to learn and know more. They also love to produce special products to sell. Making something and having the pride to sell it for money to feed your family. For example they love to learn how to make great bread with their hands and then taking it to market to producing more and learning how to save for a rainy day.”
Bread is life! What advice would you give to anyone, from Malawi to UAE to the UK about how to start a business and make it work?
“GET THE KNOWLEDGE! How to manage your idea or your product and how to make it profitable. You need to understand your products and the market and every detail about both. It is the circle of life, when you make money, remember where you came from and where you started and then help and encourage others to do the same. Do not make money and forget about how hard it is at the beginning. Invest and mentor others to help them make their ideas make money. People here in Malawi have skills, many have incredible skills but we have no money and that is the problem”.
Thank you so much Wiseman.
I learnt so much for my brief interview with Wiseman and it is such a pleasure to get it down on the blog for all you #LovePixes to read. We can learn so much from how the Malawians look at life. They continue to inspire me, that is why I am personally so interested in our Micro Loan and business enterprise projects. I can’t wait to tell you more about the developments as they happen in Malawi so keep reading, keeping following and if you can, DONATE!
All my love,
Angelica (Social Media)