Ethiopian Entrepreneurs leading the way

Posted: Apr, 7th 2015 Contributor: Bilen Shifferaw,

Meron Said with UNDP Ethiopia’s Goodwill Ambassador for Entrepreneurship Ms. Bethlehem Tilahun (SoleRebels)

Up to $61,000 was awarded to seven winning Ethiopian Entrepreneurs and two runners-up during a ceremony held at Sheraton Addis in March 2015, in the presence of His Excellency Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

As well as recognising outstanding and innovative entrepreneurs the award also focused on their sustainability, contribution to creating new jobs and positive impact on the community.

Opening the award ceremony, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn highlighted the need to increase employment opportunities in Ethiopia given the increasing number of graduates coming into the job market each year. “Our government has given emphasis to develop micro and small enterprises as they are the most viable means to create new employment opportunities and stimulate economic growth.”

The 2015 Entrepreneurship Award consisted of seven categories that included: Entrepreneur of the year, Environmental Sustainability Entrepreneur, Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Entrepreneur, Young Female Entrepreneur, Young Male entrepreneur, Rural Entrepreneur and Entrepreneurship Development Center (EDC) Start Up entrepreneur.

Over 60 applicates from around the country were judged on their creativity and innovation of the business, their business plan, and evaluated the implementation on the ground and the positive socio-economic impact that it was starting to have. Judges were drawn from Addis Ababa University, Unity University, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, ICEAddis, Embassy of Canada, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Federal Micro and Small Enterprise Development Agency (FeMSEDA), Ethiopia Chamber of Commerce, and UNDP Ethiopia’s Goodwill Ambassador for Entrepreneurship Ms. Bethlehem Tilahun who is the founder and managing director of SoleRebels.

Partnering UNDP to recognize these entrepreneurs by providing financial support for the winners were:

This year's winners include:

Entrepreneur of the Year

Kebede Lakew of Organic Liquid Fertilizer Producing PLC

Young Female

Meron Seid of Leather Exotica

Young Male Entrepreneur

Senai Wollderufael of  Feed Green Ethiopia

Environmental Sustainability

Berhanu Gadissa of  Sarutb PLC metal work and Plastic

SME Entrepreneur

Getahun Heramo of  Nita Color Center


Seble Birega of  Basha Chuko

EDC Start Up

Selome Mekonnen of Solo Shopping Service and Delivery


Watch interview's of some of the finalists

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