Tionge Phiri, 21
Tionge Phiri, 21, is employeed by Barry Paseli of Sata Technology. Barry was a Grow Movement client who was mentored by Ljubmir Trajikoviski from Macedonia.
Tionge graduated from Soche Technical College with an advanced Diploma in Information Systems in December 2014.
In Malawi it is hard for a person with his qualifications to be easily employed because the IT industry prefers to employ those who did programming rather than with his qualifications. He stayed at home searching for a job for four months. In April 2015, Tionge was employed by Sata Technology as an IT guy, his first job ever.
Before this job, Tionge was depending on his parents to provide everything needed in his life. But now that he is employed, He is able to provide for his needs, pay school fees and other necessities like books, school uniform and pens for his niece, and contribute to buy food at home. He is also planning to go back to school to do a degree programme.
Business challenges and objectives of the project
Fred’s big ambition was to increase from 100 birds to 30,000, and to eventually own a feed mill as well. Taku and Fred worked together on a plan of how to make this dream come true using small incremental steps. Taku wanted help Fred move from being a dreamer to an operational entrepreneur. On Taku’s advice Fred wrote a business plan and started to have real clarity of vision on how to achieve his dream.
Fred says that Taku was a real support during this time, but they lost touch in 2013.However Taku’s sound advice stayed with him, and he says that it gave him the courage in his business. He entered into another programme (the Rwanda Business Accelerator Programme), and found three investors.
Due to the business planning skill, Fred was able to articulate his vision and modify the business model. Instead of selling eggs to the local community, he now breeds and sells the birds themselves. He sells the owners feed and services for the birds as a package, and makes an agreement with them to buy the eggs back and sell them at the market. Fred said, he was connected by Grow movement to the Rwanda accelerator program run by Educat (Grow Movement partner organization in Rwanda) for investment opportunities. Through the same programme three investors came on board and facilitated expansion and diversification. To date the business is building at a steady rate, and he was able to take on two new employees, an accountant and a stock manager.
The Impact on Tionge
“I am a happy person now because I can contribute something at home”