The Enable Youth Entrepreneurs in Ethiopia (EYE) initiative will be piloted thanks to a partnership between the Mastercard Foundation and the Ethiopian Youth Entrepreneurs Association (EYEA).
The Addis Ababa Science and Technology University, the Adama Science and Technology University, the Dire Dawa University, the Hawassa University, and the Jimma University incubation centers will be sending 50 of their most promising young entrepreneurs to participate in the EYE project, which will provide them with individualized training in the development of their entrepreneurial skills.
The young people who participate will be provided with the appropriate skills in entrepreneurship to enable them to establish competitive firms. If they are successful, the entrepreneurs will pitch their company ideas to angel investors and financial service providers to receive cash or investments. In addition, EYE will make the EYEA’s goals of developing a strategic plan, constructing institutional functions to implement the strategy, and supporting the continuance of ‘Zelela,’ the policy conversation platform that the association hosts regularly, a reality.
The Mastercard Foundation’s goal is to collaborate with African organizations, particularly youth-led groups on the continent, following the lead of its Young Africa Works approach. EYEA is a youth-led association; it has tremendous potential to reach out to and form solid partnerships with many local youth-led groups and businesses, in addition to young people who are marginalized in society.
The EYE project will strengthen the newly formed association’s organizational capacity to develop into a prominent youth-led institution. This institution will drive a mentality change among young people, parents, and the entrepreneurial ecosystem to encourage the development of jobs and dignified living for young Ethiopians.
Empowering the Ethiopian Youth Job Alliance (EYEA) and investing in it will play a significant part in supporting the formation of many more youth-led organizations in Ethiopia that encourage job opportunities for young men and women in Ethiopia.