Malawi presents an array of challenges and equally compelling opportunities. Certainly, there are serious challenges. Recent years have evidenced hunger, the devastation of HIV/AIDS, insufficient progress in K-12 education, unsustainable population growth, excessive reliance on cash crop agriculture, natural resource depletion and environmental destruction.
Yet all is not bleak; progress is being made. Per capita income growth has risen markedly over the past several years, agricultural production has dramatically increased due in part to an innovative government fertilizer subsidy policy, and the infection rate for HIV/AIDS has stabilized. Of fundamental significance, the national government based in Lilongwe is democratically elected, stable and supportive of higher education.
Malawians are becoming increasingly independent and innovative. We believe that we can tap into that opportunity and encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to address key development problems facing their communities. With the right training, resources, and mentoring social entrepreneurs will break the cycle of poverty and contribute to a new era of development led from the bottom up.