Background

The National Association of Business Women (NABW) was formally established in 1990 as an NGO under the Trusteeship Act of 1962 of the Laws of Malawi; with its purpose being to uplift the socio-economic status of women in Malawi through various business activities with the aim of addressing the women’s challenges as stated in the foregoing. NABW is also the national chapter for The Federation of National Associations of Women in Business in Eastern and Southern Africa (FEMCOM).

FEMCOM is a COMESA institution, established in July 1993 under Article 155 of the COMESA Treaty, in line with the decision of the Authority made in January 1992 as well as the FEMCOM Charter. The main objective of FEMCOM is to promote programmes that integrate women into trade and development activities in the COMESA region, in line with the FEMCOM Medium Term Strategic Plan (MTSP) for 2009 – 2014. Implementation of FEMCOM activities are being supported by COMESA member states, EU and USAID.

Though not very active in the recent years, NABW is still relevant as the national women organisation that can accelerate the prosperity of women through business. NABW, being registered 24 years ago and still having an evidently impactful legacy today, speaks volumes of a strong vision and how the structure can be used to deliver on women’s business development in Malawi.

As an association of business women, NABW is dedicated to promoting business and enterprise opportunities for women in Malawi by enhancing growth opportunities for women already involved in business, assisting them to identify, develop and implement business and market development strategies, and increasing the number of women entering businesses.

On behalf of its membership, NABW operates as:

  • A business and market development catalyst providing members with access to market, production, financial and other resources through well-developed and executed intermediary services.
  • An effective advocate in both national and international forums on behalf of policies and programmes which benefit women and result in increased business and enterprise opportunities for women.
  • The partner to government in identifying, analyzing and developing policy and programme options with regard to economic empowerment of business and enterprise development opportunities for women.
  • The primary source of information and insight on issues related to women in business and their roles, contributions and participation in Malawi’s economic development.
  • NABW also acts as a mouthpiece for business women to government, donors and other enterprise promoting and support institutions.

During the last 24 years, a large number of women have directly benefitted from NABW’s services across Malawi. Close to one and half million others have indirectly acquired benefits in terms of jobs created, business opportunities offered, families who have managed to put food on the table; children that have been sent to school and health services that women have acquired after our basic education activities.

Being registered in 1990, during the one party system of government in Malawi, where there was tough restrictions on registration and activities of NGOs; speaks volumes regarding NABW fearless and passionate zest of the founder Dr. Joyce Banda to uplift the welfare of women in Malawi.