Mental Health of Business Owners in Malawi

Mental Health of Business Owners in Malawi

With Malawi’s high unemployment rates, graduates are often encouraged to start their own businesses because it can take years for someone to find a stable job.

Although running a business seems like an easy way to make money, what many people don’t realize is that it also takes a toll on one’s mental health.

As a result, many people venture into entrepreneurship with a lot of passion without realizing that they are also signing up for mental stress.

Therefore, we conducted a survey among a group of 50 business owners in Lilongwe to find out how running a business has had an impact on their mental health.

Period of Survey: 11th July – 8th August 2022
Number of Valid Responses: 50

Survey Respondents

Age of Business Owners

  • 18-24 years old: 9
  • 25-34 years old: 21
  • 35-44 years old: 13
  • 45-54 years old: 4
  • 55-59 years old: 1
  • 60 years old +: 1
  • N/A: 1


Male: 54% / Female: 46%

Years Running Business

  • 0-5 years: 31 people
  • 6-10 years: 16 people
  • 11-20 years: 2 people
  • 20 years+: 1 person

Causes of Stress

The causes of stress among business owners vary but we summarized the top 6 reasons as follows:

  1. Lack of Finance
  2. Low Sales
  3. Deadlines
  4. Delayed Payments from Clients
  5. Rising Costs of Expenditure Due to Inflation
  6. Customer Relations and Finding New Customers

Therefore, we can conclude that out of the 6 reasons provided as causes of stress among business owners, 4 of them are related to finances.

Solutions of Stress

If you are a business owner who experience stress, do not lose hope because there are different ways of relieving stress.

Here are some of the ways in which business owners deal with stress:

  1. Talk to Partners, Mentors and Friends
  2. Do My Best and Find Solutions
  3. Do Exercises or Working Out
  4. Participate in Hobbies (listening to music, watching movies and playing video game)
  5. Praying

Based on these reasons, we can summarize that if you are a business owner who is stressed you should always ask for advice from others because keeping your problems to yourself can make you become more stressed.

You should also have ways to refresh your mind such as hobbies which will put your mind off the business.

Exercising also helps because when you sweat , you release the pent up tension that has been building up due to stress.

Lastly, prayer and finding refuge in God also helps in relieving stress.

Let us continue to pursue business ventures while taking care of our mental health as well so that we don’t experience burnout.