SpotOn!: Spotlighting Ellen Chilemba. Founder, Tiwale
Born and raised in Malawi, Ellen is actively uplifting and empowering women in Malawi. When she was 16, she received a scholarship to represent Malawi at the African Leadership Academy in South Africa, where she graduated with a diploma in Leadership, Entrepreneurship and African studies. This journey inspired her to found Tiwale, a community-based organisation dedicated to uplifting women through leadership workshops, micro-loans, vocational skills training and school grants.
It was however when she was 18 after the Global Changemakers Global Youth Summit that she was able to raise the money to begin Tiwale.
Ellen was motivated by the fact that women in Malawi had fewer opportunities in education and this challenged Ellen to make a difference. She was also inspired by one of Mohammed Yunus’ books. According to her, her mother had set an example also as an evolving entrepreneur. Ellen was sure she wanted to help Malawian women to start their own businesses.
What began as a microloan startup has grown into a centre for empowering women in Malawi. Through Tiwale , Ellen supports women to start businesses and return to school. Through Tiwale, she has marketed products made in fashion design programs fundraising over $30,000 to purchase land and build a women’s centre. She also gathered educators in Malawi to launch a day and night school for 500 women.
Tiwale means “Let us Glow” in Chichewa language, and true to its name, Tiwale has flourished over the years, impacting more women than most.
Unite.un.org reports that Ellen has participated in the Global Changemakers Annual Youth Summits, Forbes 5 Creative Young Africans, Africa Rising, the Powell Exemplary Leaders, the Commonwealth Youth for Excellence in Development Work, the Grinspoon Entrepreneurial Spirit, the Clinton Global Initiative and MasterCard & Ashoka’s Future Forward Youth Innovations for Employment in Africa.
Ellen is also a lover of music, fashion and plants. She is a Disk Jockey known as DJ Chmba.