“Providing finance, technical support and business mentoring”
Providing much needed finance
Undertaking any business activity needs finance. In Malawi finance is difficult to come by. The commercial banks will only lend you money at interest rates of around 50% and even then they require extensive security. Microfinance organisations play an invaluable role but their loans tend to be short term and their effective interest rate is very high – often over 60%. So neither commercial banks nor microfinance organisations are natural lenders to farmers or emerging businesses.
MEA aims to fill this gap by lending to both smallholders and entrepreneurs.
Technical support and business mentoring
However money is not enough. Smallholder farmers often lack even basic advice on the use of fertilisers and pesticides. Our experienced agricultural extension workers support farmers throughout the growing period with regular visits and advice.
Outside of farming, there is no shortage of enthusiastic entrepreneurs but they need advice on areas such as costing and cash flow management. . Volunteers from a range of backgrounds act as mentors in this work and we are always keen to talk to new people.
In doing all this we are just as interested in things that go badly as well. We have a passion for data and will look for trends and patterns at both the commercial and household level.