Tiwale Community Based Organization

Tiwale Community Based Organization: We support and lead innovative, enterprising women to fulfill their potentials

LilongweSouth Hadley
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We are empowered young women overcoming poverty by creating sustainable ventures that transform our communities into flourishing hubs of young entrepreneurs. We aim to support and lead innovative and enterprising young women to fulfill their potentials.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

One woman's daily income increased by 900%; what if we did it for a million more?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Malawi is the 18th least developed country. Most families cannot afford to finance their children’s education. Girls are even less likely to be educated as they are married off early in exchange for dowry. Over time this cycle has created a large sum of women who are uneducated, jobless and facing extreme poverty. These women see opportunities, however, banks discourage them from innovation by refusing them loans due to their lack of referrals.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

With a large population of women who are uneducated, jobless and facing extreme poverty; our solution is to create more jobs and opportunity for alleviation. Firstly, we have our micro-finance loan program where we host businesses classes, that are followed by a business plan challenge . The plans are proposed to our team and the best ideas are loaned capital to start up. The loans are repaid within ten weeks through weekly audits by the Tiwale team. Secondly, We host vocational skills training platforms. We are teaching women how to make dye-print African fabrics and also how to rear chickens. These projects employ women and provide them with skills needed to secure jobs or start similar businesses in the future.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Our entrepreneurship program has promoted women to see new opportunities. For instance in our 2012 entrepreneurship workshop we challenged women to come up with new business opportunities in their community. Angela and her teammates; Mai Juma and Mai Likobwe constructed a business model for selling chicken pieces. The team noted a strong demand for chicken as food but observed that most people could not afford to buy a whole chicken. With a loan from Tiwale, they purchased chickens, cut them up, and sold the smaller pieces to citizens. They bought a whole chicken for USD $3.65 per chicken and divided it into 20 parts. Each part sold for USD $0.36. For each chicken sold they made at least USD $6.08 in profits.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

To date, with Tiwale we have taught entrepreneurship skills to 150 women, and arranged for business loans to 40 women. In the next three years we aspire to have worked with at least 2000 women raising their average daily income from USD$1 per day to USD$10 each day. At this income, women will be able to afford more daily expenses and on top of that be able to afford educational fees for themselves and their children. This will mean 6000 children will definitely be educated. The chicken business will result in an increase in food supply in the community. Tiwale is different because most organization make a difference that it is minimal but on a large scale such as increasing the income 0f 10,000 women by 10%, however we prefer on more sustainable change such as a complete transformation from of 200 women by a rise in income by 900%. This lowers the chance of falling back into poverty.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

With the success of our chicken coup farm, we plan initiate at least two more farms in the community which will train another 60 women. Thereafter, we intend to start farms in neighboring communities. For inexpensive and effective expansion, we will continuously call for collaboration from other youth in other communities to replicate our idea. We will ensure that the community revises our model to that works best for them. Other strategies in place will be a continuos search for new markets to jump into, and also constant prototyping of new products.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Our project’s model is that of a social business. All our initiatives are income generating and to ensure success we only venture into programs that promise at least 50% profit. Furthermore, we are youth and employ the youth who demand affordable wage fees. We will have several projects running so we are not dependent on one program. We will host workshops with our team and encourage participation in summits that promote creativity.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

In Malawi, we have many organizations developing communities and empowering women. In the past most of the help has been in aid, so we still need more vocational skills training. Furthermore, most organizations doing development work are foreign. This means major decisions are made outside the country, this can slow down mobility especially when an immediate decision is needed. People working on the organizations usually do not feel as connected to the mission. As locals promoting development and working with people, our team has a mutual understanding and our participants are close siblings.

Founding Story

When I was 12 years old, I started my own business. I baked cakes and sold them at church on Sundays. I was successful and was able to grow from one cake sold per day to several each day. My profits helped me with my personal day to day expenses. When I was 16 years old, I met a 17 year old woman, who had been forced to marry early and now had three children. She lived in extreme poverty and was unemployed. Her sole source of income was her husband who worked in the city, and did not earn much. I asked her why she could not start a business, and she explained that a bank would not give her a loan and that local village loaners charged insane interest. I was very moved by her situation and dared to create more platforms to empower women.


We are a team of 22; four of our team members are full-time and the rest work part-time. The roles covered include the project’s director, operations director, educationist, legal adviser, financial controller, secretary and treasurer. We also have a team of curriculum facilitators, social media help, fundraising team and various volunteers for miscellaneous tasks. We are a very strong team; all our team members have unique experience.
About You
Human Rights Watch
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Project
Organization Name

Human Rights Watch

How long has your organization been operating?

Organization Country

United States, MA, South Hadley

Country where this project is creating social impact

Malawi, Lilongwe

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Friends and family, Foundations, Other.


Improving Nutrition, Sustainable Sourcing, Opportunities for Women, Inclusive Business, Smallholder Farmers.

Audience: Who have you identified as your customer/recipient groups and do these groups value your solution for different reasons? How do you engage different customer/recipient groups to deliver your solution?

With 65% of our population living on less than a dollar per day, most women in Malawi are unemployed and idle. These women understand the needs in their communities but are discouraged from innovation by mainstream banks who refuse to grant them loans due to their lack of referrals. Tiwale empowers Malawian women by providing them with micro-finance loans, vocational skills training, and employment opportunities.

Scaling the solution: How would the prize money and publicity help you to achieve your objectives over the next two years?

Our primary aim is to teach impoverished women how to rear and sell chickens. The price of a day old chick in Malawi is USD $0.5, and a full grown six week old chicken is USD $5. Including input costs of water, electricity, and feed, we expect to make a minimum 50% profit in this venture, which will increase the income of Tiwale women from USD $1 per day to USD $10 daily. We also intend to invest in a clothing design project where Tiwale women will learn to make dyed African fabrics that will be sold to designers. The project is expected to bring in an annual profit of over 300%. It will increase daily income from USD $1 to USD $15. The publicity will earn us a network of connections that are essential for the growth of our industries.

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered

Through Tiwale, I have pioneered for 150 women to undergo week-long intensive business skills and entrepreneurship training and I have personally guided over 40 of these women into starting their own businesses, a process that required constant revision and feedback on their business plans. The forty women received start up loans that had to be repaid in ten weeks, but some had success that allowed them to repay us in as little as four weeks.

Are you are eligible to attend the Accelerator event in Cambridge and subsequent events in London, UK in January, 2015?


Will you require a visa to enter the UK?


Are you are a current Unilever employee?