Ethiopia celebrated the 2019 Global Entrepreneurship Week joining 170 countries around the world from November 18-24 under the themes of Education, Ecosystem, Inclusion and Policy.
The celebration is hosted in Ethiopia by UNDP supported Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC) to raise awareness on entrepreneurship and advance entrepreneurship in the country.
The week-long celebration was marked by different events including award ceremonies to recognize outstanding entrepreneurs and enterprises as part of EDC’s National Entrepreneurship Award Programme. Young university students had the opportunity to showcase their talents contested under Business Idea Competition that inspired them to see entrepreneurship as a viable path for their career development.
Speaking at the event, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Cleophas Torori reiterated UNDP’s commitment to invest in enhancing entrepreneurial culture in Ethiopia to address complex and systemic challenges relating with youth unemployment, inequality, poverty and human trafficking among others.
As Ethiopia works towards reaching lower middle-income status by 2025, entrepreneurship plays a key role to positively impact the economy and help to create new jobs.
The Entrepreneurship Development Centre established in 2013 with the support of UNDP’s flagship programme, Entrepreneurship Development Programme, offers various support to entrepreneurs including; innovative entrepreneurship trainings, dedicated business development support and facilitating access to finance and markets.
The centre has achieved key success milestones since its establishment including but not limited to;
- Provision of entrepreneurship training for over 87,000 start-ups and existing entrepreneurs
- Provision of customized business development services for over 10,000 entrepreneurs to help them expand their businesses and create new jobs
- Creation of over 83,800 jobs
- Establishing 6,450 new enterprises and helping over 7330 businesses to realize their growth potential and improve their performance.
EDC is investing in women and youth, with youth constituting over 65% of Ethiopia’s population, to help them develop an entrepreneurial mindset, as a key driving force to promote competitive private sector in Ethiopia going forward.