Nthanda (nthanda.com), 27, was born in Mangochi, Malawi and currently is resident in New York, USA.
Meet the Founder of the Ntha Foundation
Nthanda is the Founder of Bien Corporation Africa, and Ntha Foundation. She is currently undertaking a graduate programme (on-the-job training) as an Evaluation Analyst in New York, and she consults as Business Development and Digital Solutions Specialist.
I established the Ntha Foundation with the goal of creating a collective of innovative and creative young people committed to creating solutions for Africa. I saw the opportunity where a lot of young people would leave undergrad, but have no sense of direction re how to break into corporate. I wanted to create a community where we could mobilise and share resources for our collective growth.Nthanda
The Ntha Foundation launched the Nyenyezi Fellowship, and later launched the M’mawa Management Training Program.
The Nyenyezi Fellowship targets enterprising youth – giving them adequate skills to develop and manage businesses (startups) in third world countries.
The M’mawa Management Training Program targets creative and innovative young people who little to no interest in business creation and management, but wish to learn the practice of early business management.
As a progressive media organisation, and working towards contributing to the closure of the digital divide in Africa, we have over the past three years invested in digital skills trainings. We partnered with the Malawi Government with funding from the World Bank to train over 500 young people in digital and entrepreneurial skills. Under my supervision, my team developed an e-learning platform: Digi Savvy Africa, and an e-lancing platform to match the people we upskill to market – Colance Africa.Nthanda
Nthanda holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences obtained from the University of Malawi, double-majoring in Economics and Demography. Her undergraduate research specialised in the socio-economic impacts of women’s empowerment. She is currently completing her Master of Science in Entrepreneurship at the Malawi University of Science and Technology, specialising in creating information management systems for developing nations. She has aspirations of pursuing a PhD in Media Psychology or Business Economics.
Running the Ntha Foundation as founder and managing director was the joy of my life. I took the risk of leaving my permanent job, to jump fully into the waters of entrepreneurship. I immediately learnt that I did not have enough skills to run a business, and enrolled myself in Master of Science in Entrepreneurship. Juggling academia and running a business was nothing short of challenging, but I love a good challenge.
In my time as managing director, we set up two innovation hubs in Lilongwe and Mangochi, employed over 20 people, trained hundreds, and our e-learning platform was awarded as EdTech innovation of the year 2021.Nthanda
There were many long hours, and my staff would (without my asking) spend nights at the office with me, bringing this dream and vision to life. I took a risk, and it will forever be rewarding.
Nthanda is at the moment not active in the organisation, and only serves as the founder. The organisation has a board of directors which is comprised of 6 individuals. Ntha Foundation is fully ran and operationalised by 15 staff, and 8 interns.
When I left Malawi to partake in a graduate program in New York, I was anxious about the future of Ntha Foundation. I had hired and trained a few individuals, but I still always had questions whether the Ntha Foundation would survive without me.
It has been a year since I left Malawi, and Ntha Foundation has trained more people, hired more people, and continues to have more impact. I hope for the foundation to continue to impact the lives of young people in Malawi – giving them spaces to meet and collaborate with like-minded individuals so they can create and manage sustainable businesses in Malawi.
We need to expand the creative sector in Malawi, and there’s nobody better to do that than young people. We as the Ntha Foundation are here to support that.Nthanda Manduwi
Learn more about the Ntha Foundation here.