The first cohort of 137 mentors alongside 20 startups and SMEs are graduating enterprises through a special ceremony held on May 27th. The graduates undergo training at the Center for African Leadership Studies (CALs)/xHub that is part of the Young Africa Works Mastercard in Ethiopia program. This was a partnership between the Mastercard Foundation and the Jobs Creation Commission.
The top 20 startups were picked from a pool of 36 entrepreneurs such as six women who took part in the training program. Participants were chosen based on the strengths of their business ideas when based on the strength of scalability, solving local problems, innovativeness, and affordability.
Participants went through a year’s worth-incubation of intensive training covering marketing, business leadership development, and business law. As they developed their business models, they received internet access and a co-working space.
As part of the training, graduates took part in network and experience-sharing sessions alongside other startups and successful entrepreneurs. They then received seed funding and business development services designed to accelerate their growth. Once they graduate, they will be engaged in digital technology, tourism, health, coffee production and sales, agriculture, transportation, and media communications.CALS
Tewodros Tadesse Araya, the founder of the Center for African Leadership Studies, described a lack of “ lack of mentors and business coaches” as a major challenge in the ecosystem. CALS)/xHub Addis is looking to scale the program and train 10,000 mentors over the next 3 years while relying on the first cohort as trainees.
The Center for African Leadership Studies works towards the transformation of African business, medical, nonprofit institutions, governmental institutions, and individuals with the right coaching, training, and organizational development. xHub is an initiative of CALS and was founded in 2019.
You can check out more on the MasterCard foundation at its website.
Holistic support to #entrepreneurs, critical in the context of #COVID. We need to strengthen #entrepreneurship ecosystem & align with @MastercardFdn Ethiopia country goal of enabling 10 million young Ethiopians access dignified & fulfilling work https://t.co/lL1PP63qU9
— Alemayehu Konde Koira (@AlemayehuKonde) May 28, 2021