RIO Celebrates Ethiopia’s Innovative Business Models

Jun 18, 2012

Dream Light Solid Waste Management PLC, a company based in Bahir Dar City, Amhara Regional State is one of the winners of the 2012 World Business and Development Award (WBDA).

These companies are selected for having innovative business models that are successfully making both commercial and development impact. Dream Light is engaged in collecting and recycling solid waste and from the waste producing biofuel, compost as well as smokeless briquettes for use by local communities. A bakery plant, which will be running out of the bio-fuel, is also being set up. The WBDA celebrates how companies can use their core business activities to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Ethiopia is predicted to achieve most of the MDGs by 2015, the deadline globally set for the attainment of goals related to reducing poverty and environmental degradation while
improving education, health conditions and gender equality by 2015.

A special WBDA ceremony will be held on 19th June 2012 at the sidelines of the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development where a representative from Ethiopia’s Dream Light has been officially invited to attend and receive the prestigious award.

Dream Light Solid Waste Management PLC is a public-private joint venture that received support from the Local Economic Development (LED) Programme. A group of thirteen local youth initiated Dream Light in 2008, but it was with the commencement of the LED Programme in Bahir Dar in 2009 that the waste management firm benefited from a
public-private dialogue and partnership. This public-private engagement led to Dream Light being receiving access to credit to the tune of ETB 1,627,026 from the LED Fund, managed by Bahir Dar City.

This fund was used to implement the recycling component of the city’s waste management Master Plan. Dream Light PLC now employs over 300 youth and women, who are mostly from the vulnerable members of the community.

The LED programme in Ethiopia has been implemented by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) since 2009. The programme has helped establish and strengthen over one thousand Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), and create 13,000 jobs for
women and youth in seven cities across the country, as part of its efforts to promote inclusive growth and poverty reduction. A number of Micro and Small Enterprises (SMEs) have since expanded their small initiatives to form a Private Limited Corporation (PLC) like the Dream Light Waste Management PLC. The second four year LED programme was
recently launched with an initial budget of US $8 million and expands the number of target areas to 27 cities.

The WBDA is organized by the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This year’s partners also included the Netherlands Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the UN Global Compact.

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