Ethiopia looks towards Entrepreneurship to Ignite Development

28 Nov 2013

image EDC CEO Etalem Engeda with Dr.Worretaw Bezabih, a graduate of one of the first entrepreneurship training workshops and author of books on entrepreneurship

This year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week was celebrated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ethiopia which joined the Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC) to shine the light on innovators and job creators in the country.

The Global Entrepreneurship Week helps to bring the world’s focus on entrepreneurs who launch startups bringing ideas to life, driving economic growth and expanding human welfare.

Although the private sector in Ethiopia is expanding it has not yet managed to offer a sufficient number of jobs to young people graduating from colleges and technical vocational education training institutions. One of the most promising answers to address this challenge is through tapping into the creativity and drive of existing and aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly young people and women.

The implementation of the UNDP supported Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP) seeks to assist new start-ups and existing micro and small enterprises to grow into medium and large scale enterprises which can create jobs, wealth, and boost growth. This intervention is in line with Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan, which envisages the expansion of industrial sector to drive the development of the economy.

The EDP is developed by the Ministry of Urban Development and Construction with the support of UNDP  to help guide and mentor entrepreneurs through the various stages of enterprise development and growth. Through the EDP entrepreneurs are also provides technical assistance in the preparation and review of feasibility and business plans, facilitates access to finance, and assists them in identifying local subcontracting opportunities between micro and small enterprises with larger local companies. This intervention is expected to create self and wage employment opportunities, improve income of the society and lay foundation for industrial development of Ethiopia.

The EDP is implemented through the recently established Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC), which will use the programme to bring about a transformational change and unleash the growth potential of micro and small-scale enterprises.

The Centre has to date successfully trained over 1000 entrepreneurs in eight out of Ethiopia’s 11 regions. A business development service has also been accessed by close to 800 micro and small enterprises. By the end 2015, the EDC hopes to transform the mindsets and behaviors of 200,000 Ethiopians, particularly youth and women, and to help them acquire or improve entrepreneurial skills and knowledge. Those entrepreneurs are expected to eventually create job opportunities in their communities and upgrade themselves in the formal business sectors.

During the Global Entrepreneurship Week, the centre in close cooperation with UNDP and MoUDC seeks to inspire aspiring and current entrepreneurs to take the next step in their entrepreneurial journey and connect with potential collaborators, mentors and investors.