The Community Savings and Investment Promotion (Comsip) Cooperative Union Limited says it plans to disburse up to K741 million to its clusters across the country from June to December this year to economically empower communities.
The grants are meant for capacity building through training in financial literacy, business management and group organisation, value chain and nutrition.
Speaking in Blantyre on Thursday when the organisation disbursed K3.1 million to 15 Comsip clusters, chief executive officer Tenneson Gondwe said the union has now reached out to 168 000 households nationwide in promoting a savings and entrepreneurship culture.
He urged the youth to join Comsip and establish small-scale businesses rather than wait for white collar jobs.
Blantyre North East legislator Cecilia Chazama, who is also Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, said she was excited that his constituency was one of the beneficiaries of the Comsip grants.
She said through the training, vendors and other businesspersons will gain special skills, thereby growing their businesses and improving their livelihood.
Said Chazama: “A number of people could start up businesses, but you find that within a short time the businesses collapse, mainly due to lack of capacity by the owners.
“The coming in of Comsip will empower the vendors, thereby uplifting their lives, as well as motivating others to start embracing the saving and entrepreneurship culture.”
Chairperson for Lunzu Market Clemence Maovololo, who sells fish, said Comsip has helped his business thrive through saving and lending money, thereby increasing business capital.
Comsip is a skills and development component of the Malawi Social Action Fund (Masaf 4) project funded through the Local Development Fund (LDF) by the World Bank.
Through the three savings vehicles of mandatory, voluntary and share purchase, Comsip groups have since 2014 cumulatively mobilised K6 billion as of March 2018.