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Tiwale Founder Ellen Chilemba Discusses Launching Her Social Enterprise Company at the Age of 18

Today, many aspiring MBAs and MBA graduates want to join start-ups or launch such companies themselves. Is entrepreneurship as exciting as it seems? Is it really for you? mbaMission Founder Jeremy Shinewald has teamed up with Venture for America and CBS Interactive to launch Smart People Should Build Things: The Venture for America Podcast. Each week, Shinewald interviews another entrepreneur so you can hear the gritty stories of their ups and downs on the road to success.

Tiwale Founder Ellen Chilemba Discusses Launching Her Social Enterprise Company at the Age of 18 - mbaMission

Ellen Chilemba, Founder and Director of Tiwale

Ellen Chilemba may be among the youngest guests in the history of our podcast series, but her accomplishments are far from few. For example, she was invited to the Global Changemakers Global Youth Summit when she was just 18 years old, and she was chosen as one of Forbes’s “30 Under 30” last year. Of course, Chilemba’s proudest accomplishment to date is undoubtedly Tiwale, a social enterprise created to help the women of Malawi, Chilemba’s home country, start their own businesses. Chilemba is in her senior year of studies at Mount Holyoke College, and she took time out of her busy schedule to share her story with podcast listeners, including these details:

  • How, at the age of 19, she met a young woman her age who was already married with three children—and why this encounter spurred Chilemba into action
  • What managing a company is like when you are still finishing your undergraduate studies
  • Why, after Chilemba had presented U2 front man Bono with a humanitarian award at a recent gala, he turned around and handed the trophy back to her

Subscribe to the podcast series to hear more inspirational stories from entrepreneurs!




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