The Mastercard Foundation MSE's Resilience Facility to Support Businesses in Ethiopia Affected by COVID-19

Mastercard Foundation MSE’s Resilience Facility to Support Businesses in Ethiopia Affected by COVID-19
4 June 2020
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Mastercard Foundation (Africa)

Addis Ababa — The Jobs Creation Commission of Ethiopia, the Mastercard Foundation and First Consult announced the creation of the Mastercard Foundation MSE's Resilience Facility. This is an emergency program that will support micro and small-sized enterprises (MSEs) and start-ups in Ethiopia during the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program, with an initial commitment of approximately USD 24.8 million from the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program , will ensure MSEs remain solvent, retain their employees, and are able to create increasingly innovative work opportunities in the wake of COVID-19.

The implementation and monitoring of the Mastercard Foundation MSE's Resilience Facility will be undertaken collaboratively by the three organizations. The provision of financial assistance, in the form of grants and soft loans, via participating institutions – Banks, Microfinance, and Business Development Services – to eligible, qualified micro- and small-sized enterprises, both formal and informal.

The amount and type of financial support provided will vary depending on the size of enterprise and their needs and will focus on supporting MSEs and start-ups within the following two categories:

  • High Vulnerability: Registered micro enterprises and informal firms that are self-employed.
  • Moderate Vulnerability: Small enterprises facing extreme slowdown within service-related businesses and that are at risk of major interruption or cancellation of orders.  

The program, to be implemented in Addis Ababa, is anticipated to:

  • Prevent 24,000 MSEs from going bankrupt and closing permanently.  
  • Prevent more than 50,000 employees from losing their jobs.
  • Equip three financial institutions to effectively partner with MSEs through collateral free loans and increase their adoption rate of digitally based micro credit.  

The creation of the Mastercard Foundation MSE's Resilience Facility is aligned to the Foundation's Young Africa Works strategy. Young Africa Works, developed in consultation with young people, policymakers, educators, and entrepreneurs, is Mastercard Foundation's strategy that aims to enable 30 million young people in Africa, with 10 million in Ethiopia, to access dignified and fulfilling work over the next 10 years.

"Young Africa Works is about connecting young people to opportunity, enabling them to build and sustain their livelihoods. To move forward with that agenda, we first have to safeguard the opportunities that already exist but are threatened by COVID-19. We can then build on that foundation," said Alemayehu Konde Koira, Country Head, Ethiopia, at the Mastercard Foundation.

Despite the risk mitigation efforts being implemented by the government and the financial sector following the current spread of COVID-19 in Ethiopia, several containment measures are being undertaken which have economic implications and a forecasted loss of about 2% economic growth in this fiscal year. The economic crisis will lead to jobs being at risk, increase in underemployment, and working poverty.

"This intervention, by filling the critical gap needed to serve MSEs, will significantly enhance the government's proactive measures to avert the impact of the pandemic and keep enterprises solvent and in business. The Jobs Creation Commission estimates that close to 1.4 million wage jobs are under threat and approximately 1.9 million people in vulnerable employment will lose their income due to the economic impact of COVID-19. Enterprises and informal businesses, that are least able to withstand this economic slowdown, will bear the brunt of these losses. The least served and vulnerable young people in our country will be impacted," said Jobs Creation Commission Commissioner, Dr. Ephrem T Lamango.

Once participating institutions have been onboarded, the Jobs Creation Commission and First Consult, a leading consulting firm specialising in the design and delivery of interventions that support private sector advancement and the overall economic development of Ethiopia, will put out a call to MSEs and start-ups to apply for funding, which will be announced soon.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Jobs Creation Commission  

Tewedaj Eshetu, Communications and PR Advisor
Telephone: +251 116 671792

Mastercard Foundation

Helen White, Strategy Lead, Program Communications
Telephone: +27 76 166 5372

First Consult

Eden Mesfin, Communications Lead
Telephone: +251 114 401 473

Supporting Information

About the Mastercard Foundation

The Mastercard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. Through its Young Africa Works strategy, Canadian EleV program, and the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, the Foundation works with partners to ensure that millions of young people, especially young women, access quality education, financial services, and dignified work. The Mastercard Foundation was established in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company. The Foundation is independent with its own Board of Directors and CEO.

The Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program has two main goals. First, to deliver emergency support for health workers, first responders, and students. Second, to strengthen the diverse institutions that are the first line of defense against the social and economic aftermath of this disease. These include universities, financial service providers, businesses, technology start-ups, incubators, government agencies, youth organizations, and non-governmental organizations.

For more information and to sign up for the Foundation's newsletter, please visit . Follow the Foundation on Twitter at  @MastercardFdn .

About the Jobs Creation Commission  

The Jobs Creation Commission (JCC) of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is established under the Office of the Prime Minister to advance the government's goal around employment and job creation. JCC is uniquely positioned to lead, govern and coordinate the jobs creation agenda at the national and subnational levels. It is committed to guide the investment of government, the private sector and development partners to high-growth sectors through policy analysis and innovation; and to align skills development with market needs.

Directly overseen by the Prime Minister's office, JCC is mandated to Coordinate, Govern and Monitor all Government and Non-Government efforts in creating jobs. With a mission to drive job creation through innovation and action, the Commission aims to facilitate the creation of 3 million jobs by 2020, 14 million by 2025 and 20 million by 2030. The commission has facilitated and supported the creation of 2.4 million jobs to date.

Follow JCC on: |

About First Consult  

First Consult is a leading Ethiopian institution specialized in economic development in Ethiopia. With a focus on private sector, financial sector and human capital development since 2005, First Consult has built and worked with over 500 partnerships that spans the private sector, government and development community. By supporting and mobilizing strong local institutions with highly-capable individuals, we work to solve the most-critical development challenges of our time. Our core focus on youth development and women's economic empowerment is central to our mission, which is to realize an inclusive and sustainable development that benefits all.

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