Business Partners International (BPI) Malawi, a fund manager that provides debt equity financing, has outlined five steps to enable entrepreneurs improve their businesses and achieve desired goals in the new year and beyond.
BPI Malawi country manager Akuzike Kafwamba said in an interview the strategies can help entrepreneurs to navigate the tough economic environment characterized by cost-of-living crisis and set themselves up for success.
He said the five steps include reviewing performance and progress of the past year, planning action and resources, seeking feedback and support from others, investing in personal and professional development and embracing change and innovation.
“An entrepreneur should identify what worked well, what did not and what they learned from success and failure. They should celebrate their achievements and have knowledge of the challenges,” said Kafwamba.
In terms of planning actions, he advised entrepreneurs to break down their goals into smaller tasks and milestones and assign deadlines and responsibilities for each one.
Kafwamba also advised entrepreneurs not to do everything on their own, but reach out to customers, partners, mentors and peers for feedback.
He also added that entrepreneurs should build a network of people who can provide valuable insights, advice, resources and opportunities.
An entrepreneur, said Kafwamba, has to invest in themselves and keep learning new skills, knowledge and perspectives that can help them to grow as a leader and a problem-solver.
“For an entrepreneur to succeed in a dynamic and competitive environment, there is a need to be adaptable and innovative,” he said.
Kafwamba’s advice comes against the backdrop of a report from the African Development Bank showing that Malawi’s business environment remains largely unfavourable to the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Chamber for Small and Medium Enterprises executive secretary James Chiutsi embraced the tips, saying if followed, they can help businesses, particularly SMEs to survive the turbulent business environment.
“Any entrepreneur worth his salt can acknowledge the fact that there is always something new to learn about their business or market,” said Chiutsi, adding the new year brings with it challenges and opportunities for businesses.
Business Partners International Malawi supports viable local SMEs with financing, ranging from K100 million to K1 billion to boost their businesses.