Strengthening biodiversity-friendly MSMEs in Malawi and Zambia

Sustainable agriculture in Malawi.

The IKI funded Biodiversity Finance Accelerator (BioFA) project has completed its 6-month support programmes in Malawi and Zambia. 

The project had organised three workshops in each country to support 29 biodiversity-positive enterprises.

The objectives of the BioFA programmes are to strengthen the capacities of early-growth biodiversity-friendly micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Malawi and Zambia, advance and refine their business models, and solidify their plans for future growth and raising external capital. 

The peer-learning workshop series aim to empower selected enterprises to develop investment readiness and operational excellence, design and take measures to effectively scale-up business, and optimise financial resources.

Accelerator workshop in Zambia.

The BioFA support package for enterprises included:

  • Accelerator Workshops for capacity building, growth strategy, impact management, and scale-up plan
  • Biodiversity Enterprise Support Toolkit for refinement of business plan and preparing investment readiness
  • Networking opportunities with policy makers, financiers, and other ecosystem players at BioFA partner events
  • Showcasing opportunities through global and national communication platforms and networks

The accelerator workshops in 2022 had two tracks: 

  • The Standard track consisted of three workshops on Business Plan Refinement & Understanding Impact, Marketing & Organisational Development, and SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) Finance (Management) & Communicating Impact. 
  • The Advance track consisted of three workshops on Business Plan Refinement & Understanding Impact, Marketing & Growth Strategy, and SME Finance (Invest) & Communicating Impact.

The BioFA Enterprise Development Toolkit 

As part of the support package, selected enterprises also got access to the BioFA Enterprise Development Toolkit. The toolkit helped identify and prioritise enterprise support needs through the Business Plan Assessment and condensed all outputs and content created through the tools for enterprise next steps through the Business Plan Template. With step-by-step guidance and supporting templates, the Toolkit supported enterprises in addressing different topics, including 

  • Value Proposition, 
  • Impact, 
  • Relationships, 
  • Operations & Organisation, 
  • Markets & Marketing, 
  • Strategy, and 
  • Funding & Financials. 

Positive feedback from participants 

On completion of the programmes, all participants rated the workshops as good or very good and were satisfied with the workshop methodology and material quality. The participants reported that the workshops “broadened their understanding of biodiversity impact”, “guided them in improving their financial management systems” and “improved their business pitch”. A majority also mentioned that they were “very likely to recommend the programme to another enterprise ”.

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