Women Create Opportunities Through Business in Malawi


Tikondane Positive Living Support Organisation (TIPOLISO) in Malawi is a part of Fund: Her Village Venture. This is a wonderful opportunity to provide women with small business training and entrepreneurial skills and opportunities in their communities.

In 2004, TIPOLISO started as a small women’s support group meeting under a tree. Now it has grown into an organization that works to promote human rights, food security, household economic strengthening and early childhood development for marginalized populations in southern Malawi. TIPOLISO fights stigma related to HIV and AIDS and promotes the interest of vulnerable children and orphans, widows, and people living with HIV and AIDS in their community.

TIPOLISO provides small business education and entrepreneurial opportunities for adolescent girls and women, primarily through a Village Savings and Loan (VSL) model in which women form groups to work together. Each woman contributes what savings she can every month, and collectively they make decisions on loans and business ideas to others within the group. They have three established savings and loan groups for women that provide social and financial support to their peers in starting business ventures. Some examples of these small businesses include selling vegetables, selling dried fish, and weaving businesses. These small businesses empower women and enable members to support their families and educate their children.

With proceeds from Fund: Her Village Venture, TIPOLISO plans to strengthen their three existing women’s VSL groups and establish seven new VSL groups. In addition, they plan to train the women of these groups on leadership, group dynamics, financial literacy, and management skills. They will also assist women’s groups to scale up their existing business.

TIPOLISO works closely with families during initial planning, implementation, and review processes, they exemplify the power of a community-based organization this way. They run monthly family camps, which they've found to be an effective way of building trust, understanding, and love within the family and with the organization’s staff and volunteers. TIPOLISO states that the camps “give people the opportunity to open up to each other and ultimately make behavior changes easier.”

Their operating budget is less than $20,000 this year. They have only five paid staff and depend on their 68 volunteers to engage their communities, mobilize resources, and improve the lives and education opportunities of orphans, vulnerable children, and women affected by HIV and AIDS.

The proceeds from Fund: Her Village Venture will go a long way toward improving the small business opportunities available to women and education opportunities for children within the communities in which they work. If you are interested in helping women on the ground to succeed in business, this is a great opportunity. Women will be part of a strong support and training group while they also open doors for girls in the community to pursue their education. We’re very excited about Fund: Her Village Venture and the impact it will have on women and girls in Malawi.