Unleashing Entrepreneurial Spirit – Ethiopia Celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week

Nov 16, 2015

EDC Chief Executive Officer Etalem Engeda addresses a group of female trainess during the opening of the Global Entrepreneurship Week

16 November 2015, Addis Ababa: Ethiopia is joining this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) celebrations under the theme Make it Happen by rolling out a series of local entrepreneurship boosting events nationwide targeting over 150 thousand people across the country.
This is the fifth time that Ethiopia is celebrating this global event, which is expected to provide an opportunity for the private sector, high school and university students, policy makers as well as other stakeholders to interact around issues dealing with the opportunities and challenges facing entrepreneurship in the country.

The GEW event, held from 16-22 November 2015, is hosted in Ethiopia by the Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC-Ethiopia). The EDC was set up in 2013 by the Ministry of Urban Development, Housing and Construction (MoUDHCo) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to implement an entrepreneurship development programme for the country. In 2014, Canada provided 5.8million USD towards building the entrepreneurial capacity of around twenty-five thousand Ethiopian women and youth. Microsoft East Africa Ltd has also partnered with UNDP to target 200,000 local entrepreneurs and empower them through facilitating access to strategic tools, mentorship and training.

Over 400 entrepreneurs are expected to be reached daily during the GEW celebration period through a series of business health clinics and entrepreneurship training registrations held at EDC-Ethiopia’s headquarters in Addis Ababa as well its regional offices located in Bishoftu, Bahir Dar, Hawassa and Mekelle. The business health clinics and training registration targets both existing and aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly youth and women.

In addition, 200 women are currently taking entrepreneurship training in Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, Hawassa and Mekelle. Also in the same cities, a half day workshop will be held at Technical and Vocational, Educational Training (TVETs) institutes.

Moreover, some 150,000 high school students currently enrolled in some 1,180 public schools across the country will also have access to information to spark their entrepreneurial spirit. This initiative was made possible through partnership between EDC-Ethiopia, the Ministry of Education and the Ethiopian Educational Information and Communication Center.

UNDP is investing in its flagship entrepreneurship development programme in Ethiopia to help accelerate the country’s economic growth, create more jobs, wealth and alleviate poverty through tapping into the creativity and drive of existing and aspiring Ethiopian entrepreneurs, particularly women and youth. 

Note to editors:
GEW highlights
The Global Entrepreneurship Week celebrations for 2015 will close with a special event honoring two entrepreneurs with the Seasoned Entrepreneur of the Year and Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards.  The event will be held on 23rd November 2015 at the Elilly International Hotel 4 pm. Media interested in attending this event should email communication.et@undp.org

The Global Entrepreneurship Week will also witness the launch of a Centre of Excellence in Entrepreneurship (CoEEs) in Hawassa on 19th November. These university-based centres will serve students and university faculty members as spaces for incubating ideas, receiving support towards creating sustainable businesses and hence, increase local investments in entrepreneurship.

EDC will also officially launch the SNNPRS Regional office on 19th of November following the launch of the centres of excellence. 

Over 160 other countries globally, 35 of which are in Africa, are celebrating the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Week.

The Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP) was launched in February 2013 by Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn. The programme was developed by UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Urban Development and Construction to foster the emergence of a robust and entrepreneurial micro, small and medium enterprises. The EDP is implemented on the ground by the Entrepreneurship Development Centre and the Federal Micro and Small Enterprises Development Agency (FeMSEDA). EDC has so far trained over 24,000 Ethiopian entrepreneurs providing them with skills-training, while over 5,300 have received business development advisory services.

*** For more information on GEW activities and to request interviews, contact Entrepreneurship Development Offices in:  Addis Ababa: + 251 11 5571164 or + 251 11 5571156 or email info@edcethiopia.org
Bishoftu: + 251 11 5571164 or + 251 11 5571156 ; Bahir Dar: + 251 58 2205161 or + 251 911 797022
Hawassa: + 251 46 212 5359 or + 251 911 053955 ; Mekelle: + 251 34 2400186 or + 251 914 721890

UNDP Around the world