Ethiopia recognizes local entrepreneurs during the Global Entrepreneurship Week

Nov 16, 2018

Ethiopia joined the rest of the world in celebrating the Global Entrepreneurship Week by recognizing local entrepreneurs whose innovation and job creation potentials impacted grassroots communities in urban and rural areas.

The Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC) hosted this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week celebrated from November 12th to 18th with the theme of women, youth, inclusion and ecosystem connect.  EDC was set up in 2013 by UNDP in collaboration with the Ministry of Urban Development and Construction.

The event was opened by His Excellency Mr. Kassahun Gofe, State Minister of Ministry of Urban Development and Construction followed by a panel discussion with Mr. Kibret Abebe, founder of a successful social enterprise, Tebital Ambulance; Mr. Tewodros Tadesse founder of an incubation program that identifies and supports potential innovators and entrepreneurs and Ethiopia’s teen dynamic tech prodigy Betelehem Dessie who is helping young girls to code among many of her projects.

The award ceremony was organized in three categories; young female and young male entrepreneur of the year as well as seasoned entrepreneurs of the year. It also brought together organizations, entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs to foster collective impact, share best practices, challenges and aspirations.

Speaking at the event UNDP Ethiopia’s Country Director, Ms. Louise Chamberlain stressed the need to tackle the challenges faced by existing and aspiring entrepreneurs in Ethiopia referring to the 2019 Global Report on the Ease of Doing Business that ranks Ethiopia 159th out of 190 countries, putting the country behind neighboring countries such as Kenya and Rwanda.

The awardees were characterized by their passion for new ideas, hard work, focus and commitment.


2018 GEW Semhal

The award for young female entrepreneur of the year went to Semhal Guesh, Founder & CEO of Kabana Leather. Kabana Leather produces a wide variety of handmade leather products. Semhal’s work enables her to train and reach women and internally displaced people to transform their lives for sustainable change. As a young successful entrepreneur Semhal aims to be a role model for many young women to follow her footsteps. 


2018 GEW Yoadan


Yoadan Tilahun, the winner of the 2018 seasoned entrepreneur of the year, is the Founder of Flawless Events Management Company that provides skillful event management services with strategic advisory, complete planning, execution and logistics support. Flawless has grown from hosting 2-3 events per year to now hosting on average 60 events a year. The company’s professional team is made up of 99% women, and ensures the recruitment of young talents fostering them to grow into leadership positions.


2018 GEW Anteneh


Anteneh Wondimu, the founder and managing director of a Dry Waste Collection and Disposal Company is the winner of the young male entrepreneur of the year award.  The business that he started informally with his friends using manual labor transitioned into industrial waste collection business with 46 employees and nine operating trucks. Anteneh is in the process of establishing a waste recycling factory.


The Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP) was launched by H.E. Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn in February 2013 and is implemented by the Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC).

EDP was established by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing in order to support Ethiopia’s efforts to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of its private sector.

The programme seeks to increase the competitiveness and enhance the employment creating potential of micro and small enterprises (MSEs), particularly for youth and women. In the last 4 and half years the programme’s intervention led to the creation of 71,620 new jobs.

Through this programme, new and existing entrepreneurs across the country has access high quality entrepreneurship skills training and individualised Business Development Services (BDS). Until today the programme trained over 76,000 people in entrepreneurship and provided business advisory services for over 9000 entrepreneurs. Read more about Entrepreneurship Development Programme


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