+ Why partner with universities?

All over Africa, there is an increasing understanding of the important roles universities play in society. They are centers of technology, research, and innovation. For this reason, universities are strategically placed to engage in the development process in a way that combines local context with cutting edge design.

A dedicated university can be a highly effective center for development entrepreneurship for this same reason. We seek to harness this capacity to create ecologically sustainable and economically viable small businesses that can address the critical development challenges currently facing Malawi.

+ What role can the private sector play in local development?

Expansion of the private sector creates a ripple effect that touches on many other development priorities. It is a profoundly different way of confronting issues like gender equality, household income, health, food security, and education through innovation and job provision.

The private sector can address all of this without creating a dependence on foreign aid. Small businesses can create positive, sustainable change by Africans and for Africans.

+ Why are partnerships important?

Throughout our time in Malawi, we have seen the benefits of partnership and collaboration. NGOs, local businesses, international investors, and government agencies are all critical to the success and durability of development initiatives. We see our role as one of empowerment and knowledge-sharing where local actors can begin to take on new leadership roles in their own regional development.

While we focus on social impact, universities, and global resources, our partners help us leverage local structures, community support, and context-specific resources. Together, we are stronger.

+ What is a Development Entrepreneurship, or DE?

A Development Entrepreneurship is a business or self-financing nonprofit whose product or service addresses a local development challenge. These enterprises can play a powerful role in accelerating regional change through the production and distribution of innovative technologies that address basic demands like access to clean water, improved agricultural expertise, and the expansion of global health initiatives. Flame Tree Initiative wants to make sure these kinds of small businesses have the resources, connections, and capabilities to succeed in Malawi.

+ How can I get involved?

The best ways to get involved are to join us as an intern: admin@flametreeinitiative.org, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, contact us with any questions, and contribute to the Flame Tree Initiative. Thank you for your interest!