Many of us went to learning institutions with the ultimate goal of obtaining certification that can improve our chances of getting a job. This mentality is reinforced by parents and communities who often are the financier of learners in education institutions. They want their wards to learn a skill and use the skill to secure employment.
This culture has led our learning institutions producing job seekers and not job creators. In fact some teachers encourage students to work hard so they obtain good grades to improve their chances of securing employment. Over years that has been the way of doing things. Over years the job market has been supplied with more skilled people with no corresponding jobs being created in the economy. No wonder employment levels remain high in this country, particularly for young graduates with no previous work experience.
With no jobs available, most young graduates have opted starting businesses as a means of survival. Most of them have seen doing business as a second best option for one that has completed formal or informal training. This has been confirmed in studies such as the MSMEs Finscope Survey of 2012. In fact the mentioned study did establish that a majority of such youths are willing to close their business should someone offer them a job.
This misconception has been in largely due to lack of information by youths on entrepreneurship and its subsequent benefits to the entrepreneur and the nation at large. Very few are motivated to choose entrepreneurship as a career of choice. It is in view of this that the Technical Vocational Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) and The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Institute (SMEDI) in March 2022 embarked on entrepreneurship motivational talks in colleges across the country.
The exercise saw a total of nine technical colleges visited. This includes Soche Technical College, Nasawa Technical College and Aida Chilembwe Community College from the Southern Region. In the northern region the exercise covered Ngara Community College, Phwezi Technical College and Miracle Community College. In the Central region Salima Technical College and Lilongwe Technical Colleges were covered. In all these centres, a role model in the form of a successful entrepreneur was given time to talk to the youths sharing their personal success stories. Among the role models selected included Gift Whayo, owner of Zipatso Construction Limited, Dennis Chitowe Managing Director of Mzuzu Dairy and the owner of Baghdad Construction to mention a few. It is estimated over 2000 learners were reached.
“This is what we have been looking for. I am really inspired with the visit. The talks have happened at the right time of my school life, I wish they could be many activities such as these” Said Aida Banda, level 3 Tailoring student at Soche Technical College. “Certainly from here on the country should brace itself for a new business being created by me” She concluded.
The Director of Business Information and Training at SMEDI, Mr. Edward Chilima is previously been quoted as saying tertiary education is one of population sector that SMEDI wants to target so that the country can witness a boom in youths owned enterprises.
Part of the students audience listening at Aida Chilembwe Community College
Part of the audience at Soche Techinical College