Graduate Youthpreneurs Fund

  • Training
  • Malawi

Planetarium Institute

About the Institute

Planetarium Institute is a private limited company which was registered under Malawi Companies Act 2013 on 18th June 2019. Established as an entrepreneurship think-tank, the institute was formed to support entrepreneurs through entrepreneurship development and growth. Its main activities include visioning, business modelling, business systems development, consulting and advisory, and capacity building mainly targeting entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs

The Institute has established a one-stop entrepreneurs platform called SMEs TOWER, SMEs Together Organized Working for Economic Renaissance [TOWER]. The SMEs TOWER is a platform which offers entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs a comprehensive growth package that guarantees development and growth during various stages in their lifecycle. Through the Youthpreneurs Programme, Planetarium Institute has developed a new project called Graduate Youthpreneurs Fund, an initiative strictly targeting graduates in a local enterprise scheme.

Background

Malawi has seven [7] public universities and eighteen [18] private universities according to National Council for Higher Education’s [NCHE] list of accredited universities. From these accredited universities, every year at least 8,000 ready, qualified and enthusiastic graduates are supplied to the Malawi labour market. Unfortunately, evidence has shown that a university degree is not automatic ticket to career fast track: the job market is highly competitive; competition is very high; too few jobs and too many graduates; many graduates have little or no real-world experience in their industry – experience is requested even for entry-level roles where gaining experience as a university student may seem impossible. Where graduates have a job prospect, majority of them have poor interview skills, they lack connections and often unsure on how to negotiate benefits: this results to unrealistic demands and expectations.

This vicious circle has perilous impact on graduates who over time may lose their youthful zeal, passion and enthusiasm, as a result, gradually losing their skills and passion through disuse. What about considering starting a business, using their university rigorous training to unleash a business of their choice?

Malawi education system and corresponding social institutions orients its subjects to an old adage, “GO TO SCHOOL, GET GOOD GRADES, GET A BETTER JOB”. Graduates undergoing their training in colleges are oriented with a job seeking mentality and have higher expectation to land lucrative jobs upon graduation: the sad reality is the ordeal they face when they are in the labour market.

Project objective

This project aims to rewrite the narrative of graduates so that they transform their mindset from being jobseekers to being job creators. “Graduate Youthpreneurs Fund is a one-year incubation programme which will initiate graduates into an intensive coaching and mentorship process with the ultimate goal of allowing them to create enterprises of their choice.

Methodology

The chronology of activities under the “Graduate Youthpreneurs Fund programme is as follows:

  • Enrolment. Graduates will fill an online form to collect their baseline information;
  • A brief overview of the programme, management of expectations and setting long-term agenda on their entrepreneurial journey;
  • Coaching. Graduates will be guided on career growth and interpersonal skill development, career options, setting personal development goals, develop new contacts [and networks] and identify resources. This is a transformation process which is expected to bring mindset change among graduates;
  • Creation of business clinics. Graduates will form study circles – lifelong learning groups and methodology which will facilitate discussion on specific business / personal problems, business and personal visioning, personal ambition, purpose and growth, personal goal setting, commitment and action plans, assessing various business options and opportunities, dealing with change, handling stakeholders, and understanding values and behaviours. Business clinics will help graduates to develop emotional intelligence of an informed person and enlightened entrepreneur, a skillset that will make them to thrive in any business enterprise;
  • Youth leadership exchange. Graduates will be engaged in various exchange programmes as a peer-to-peer learning;
  • Attachments. Graduates will be attached to local entrepreneurs as a way of preparing them in their entrepreneurial journey;
  • Creation of business plans. Graduates will create business model-based business plans, an extension of their business idea;
  • Registration of business. Graduates will register businesses using legal structure befitting the size and nature of the business;
  • Financing. Graduates will have access to resource for scaling up their start-ups;
  • Monitoring and mentorship. Monitoring of start-ups and provision of ongoing mentorship.

To qualify for this program, applicants must:

  • Be a graduate from any university;
  • Be aged between 18 to 35 years;
  • Be a Malawian national;
  • Be willing to be assigned to volunteer services;
  • Be willing and ready to work in a partnership arrangement;
  • Be willing and ready to travel across Malawi;
  • Pay a non-refundable registration fees amounting to MK3,500

All applicants will be admitted to a WhatsApp group [s] where ongoing updates will be made. Information sessions will be conducted in all regions on an ongoing basis in Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Blantyre. ONLY REGISTERED APPLICANTS WILL ATTEND.

Register through this link https://forms.gle/bocLMJTqjcnePjsX7

If you have any problems, WhatsApp +265 8 888 475 204 or email evangelist@pinstitute.mw. Please visit our website to appreciate some of the programs we have. Application is open.