This Young African Social Entrepreneur Is Taking Her Social Business to the Next Level
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Ellen Chilemba is something of a powerhouse.
Recently named by Forbes as one of Africa’s most promising entrepreneurs under 30, her vision is to help women create paths out of poverty and to break the cycle of child marriage and lost potential. Chilemba founded Tiwale, a for-profit social enterprise in Malawi when she was just 17.
In the past three years, the organization has supported 150 women with business and vocational training, and helped 40 women start businesses or find employment. Recently, Tiwale secured its first dedicated office space with rooms for a classroom and a workshop for a new fabric design initiative that generates income for the program’s participants and helps sustain the organization.
But Chilemba isn’t stopping there. Built into Tiwale’s impact model is a commitment to innovating new approaches and truly empowering its women participants. That means taking a hard look at previous assumptions, listening closely to the women themselves and evolving the organization’s approach.