Ref N° 703

Financial Inclusion and Entrepreneurship Scaling (FInES) Project

Reserve Bank of Malawi
Overall project value (EUR)
€ 2 193 980
Origin of funding
World Bank
Proportion carried out by legal entity
Consortium members
IBF Consulting (Lead) O&M Associates
Start date
January 2023
End date
July 2025
Number of staff provided
5500 w/d

Detailed description of project Back

The Government of Malawi has obtained a credit from the International Development Association (IDA), which is aimed at increasing access to financial services, promote entrepreneurship and capabilities of MSMEs in Malawi, including addressing Covid-19 implications.

The project supports firms in the short and medium-term to weather the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in the medium and longer-term, to create a critical mass of growth-oriented firms, boost job creation and enhance economic growth contribution by the private sector.

The project supports the delivery of Subcomponent 2.1 of the project that forms part of the broader Component 2; Scaling Entrepreneurship and Building Firm Capabilities. This component facilitates the building of firms’ capabilities, with measures to enhance the quality of business support provided by business development service (BDS) providers.

One of the critical outcomes of this project is to encourage the participation of women owned businesses.

The project has three main stages;

Stage I: Building firm capabilities – entrepreneurship training: Involves the delivery of entrepreneurship training to a large number to firms such that 1500 of the eligible firms are able to complete this stage of the training program over the life of the project. The entrepreneurship training is intended to give recipients a sound understanding of how to run their business, and to build their self-awareness and confidence

Stage II: Diagnostics and action plan preparation: Firms entering Stage 2 will be selected for participation in specific skills development programs, firms will receive one-on one consulting in addressing problems relating to their business practices and management skills. The objective of this phase of training is to deepen the capabilities within participant firms, addressing key impediments/opportunities for growth and identifying those participants that would benefit from Stage 3.

Stage III: Market Linkages: Firms will be better equipped with better capabilities; they will be offered support to grow their markets by establishing linkages with buyers. The objective of this stage is to drive the market expansion and penetration of participants, resulting in higher sales in new markets.

Eligible participating firms in subcomponent 2.1 will be able to apply for concessional loans through MAIIC.

Type of services provided

  • Develop the brand, image, and values of the project, including the communication strategies, the use of media, social networks, and traditional methods of communication;
  • A country roadshow plan and workshops.
  • Organize training and awareness events with strategic actors;
  • Communicate about where to find information, points of receipt of forms, and of receipt of applications in each district;
  • Carryout training and information needs assessment for MSMEs. This will guide awareness campaigns, development of training materials, delivery of training, etc.;
  • Develop comprehensive relevant training modules and materials focusing on personal initiative skills, business creation, management, financial literacy, accessing financial markets, product markets, reaching out to buyers’/demand opportunities, expansion of businesses, and relevant soft skills, among others;
  • Work with associations of women entrepreneurs, NGOs and others, at national and regional level, in order to increase information about the program for women;
  • Work with government and donor-supported programs working on female entrepreneurship to identify potential groups of companies led by women;
  • Create a database for all submissions received at the end of the application period;
  • Creating a Grievance and Redress Mechanism manual;
  • Develop a rigorous Monitoring plan and mechanism for tracking project activities over the course of the program lifetime;
  • Overall, the project targets at least 1,000 women owned firms to graduate from the training.

Main staff provided:

  • Team Leader/Project manager (30 m/m);
  • Entrepreneurship Specialist (30 m/m);
  • Local Entrepreneurship Specialist (20 m/m);
  • Communications and marketing specialist (20 m/m);
  • NKE international pool (60 m/m);
  • NKE national pool (90 m/m).

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