17 May 2018

Ethiopia: Agency Supporting New Entrepreneurs

The Federal Small and Medium Industry Development Agency (FSMIDA) is offering financial and material support for entrepreneurs who come up with new business ideas.

Ashenafi Melese, Communication Director at the Federal Small and Medium Manufacturing Industry Development Agency told The Ethiopian Herald that the agency is also providing land and trainings to new entrepreneurs.

The agency has five priority sectors to support entrepreneurship as per the national policy. These are wood and metal, hide and skin processing, textile and garment, agro processing, construction input and chemical outputs.

The Agency also provides various supports for the entrepreneurs irrespective of the sectors they want to engage in.

According to him, the Agency provides finance to the entrepreneurs in two ways. The first one is in the form of direct finance and initial work capital. It also provides manufacturing materials or tools.

The support is provided in Addis Ababa and four states through cooperatives, he stated.

He further noted the Ethiopian Development Bank (DBE) is giving financial support for the entrepreneurs through its 160 branches across the country.

To address financial challenges faced by cooperative the Agency has launched the 269 million USD Small and Medium Enterprises Financial Project with the support of international partners. The project is being implemented in collaboration with DBE.

The Agency also gives training for entrepreneurs to develop their skills and promotional capacity, he added.

But the current support is not adequate to develop a national culture of entrepreneurship and promote the cultivation of new ideas as most of Ethiopia's communities are not familiar with the manufacturing sector.

Therefore, the agency is engaged in various activities to create awareness and bring about attitudinal change, he stressed.

Some 21 selected Technical and Vocational Education and Training centers are conducting researches on entrepreneurship development to support entrepreneurs. This initiative is also being scaled up at university level.

The design to construct standard entrepreneurship clusters on 50, 100 and 250 hectares of land at each state has also been completed.

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