Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — Today, the Center for African Leadership Studies (CALS) and xHub Addis announced that Ethiopia’s first cohort of business mentors for entrepreneurs and business leaders will graduate via a virtual ceremony on Friday, 2 October 2020.
The Mentorship Development Program, that moved online due to the constraints of COVID-19, is the first of its kind in the country and is being implemented in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works and the FDRE Jobs Creation Commission. Young Africa Works in Ethiopia is the Mastercard Foundation’s strategy to enable 30 million young people, particularly young women, across Africa to access dignified work.
“With their boldness and ingenuity, young entrepreneurs can be an engine for creating work, opportunities, and widespread prosperity. But they need support that goes beyond capital. To truly harness their potential as changemakers, we have to encourage and enable highly experienced and successful business persons to pay forward their expertise and knowledge to a new group of business leaders and risk takers,” said Alemayehu Konde Koira, Mastercard Foundation’s Country Head, Ethiopia.
The virtual graduation ceremony, that will be presided by the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, will see 30 mentors enter the Ethiopian start-up ecosystem equipped with the knowledge and skills to support entrepreneurs to gain independence and grow their businesses.
"The Jobs Creation Commission is committed to creating Sustainable and Dignified Job opportunities that strengthen the efforts of building a prosperous Ethiopia with a bright future. We want to see a country where young people conceive dreams that can actually materialize. Mentors are the midwives in this process. We are happy to have enabled the first cohort of mentors to graduate and our efforts will continue until we transform all dreams into a reality,” says Nigussu Tilahun, Commissioner of the FDRE Jobs Creation Commission.
The program, that kicked off in May 2020, aims to train 90 mentors over 12 months and provide support to 20 promising start-ups. Mentors will focus on providing comprehensive support to start-ups nationwide, including business plan development and technical support; creation of promotional materials; networking, physical space for incubation, and seed funding to start-up and maintain.
"Aside from helping me acquire the basic skills of business coaching and mentoring, the Mentorship Development Program has transformed me personally. It has given me a deeper understanding of myself and who I am as an individual. The program has provided me with great insight on the importance of mentorship in the start-up ecosystem, where there is a high failure rate, and where mentorship is considered a critical foundational component for building a successful start-up,” said Eden Begashaw, Mentorship Development Program graduate.
Over the five years that xHub has been providing support to start-ups in Ethiopia, the organization has identified a deficit of qualified and dedicated mentors to support entrepreneurs. Few start-ups succeed in the market largely because they are not receiving adequate guidance and are not equipped to remove barriers in the start-up phase.
“As an organization working on developing people through leadership & social entrepreneurship, CALS-xHub Addis believes true transformation of a community comes from blending leadership with entrepreneurship. The Mentorship Development Program employs a unique methodology of delivering training that equips participants with the fundamentals of mentoring and coaching, approaches, and techniques for business mentors,” says Tewodros (Teddy) Tadesse, Founder and CEO, xHub Addis and Center for African Leadership Studies (CALS).
Log in to watch the virtual graduation on Friday 2 October at 10h00 (EAT) at: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6515027783?pwd=MUQxR1ZTZEdkaW9MVmliSmQxcjY1UT09
About The Center for African Leadership Studies (CALS)
The Center for African Leadership Studies (CALS) aims to build indigenous resources for the study of leadership in a distinctively African setting. The Center is one of the leading consulting firms in Ethiopia on a mission to deliver leadership development and communication solutions through numerous strategic and transformational trainings and consultancies to a range of groups with a contextual and culturally sensitive approach to inspire, equip and shape a generation of competent leaders.
In 2014, CALS founded an initiative called xHub and it was birthed from the desire to give back to the community and offer a gift of lasting value. The vision of xHub is rooted in the founder’s desire to offer others what he lacked when he started as an entrepreneur – mentorship. X in xHub is unknown as there is no limit or scope on what can come out of this ecosystem. Furthermore, the x stands to encourage entrepreneurs to embrace failure in their growth process; and contribute to the sustainable development of the country. All members are strongly encouraged to be creative and innovative in finding local solutions to local problems.
About the Jobs Creation Commission
The Jobs Creation Commission was established in 2018 under Regulation 435/2018 in Ethiopia. The Commission’s mandate is to lead the job creation agenda, coordinate stakeholders, monitor and evaluate performance with the vision of creating a country where all have access to decent and sustainable 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. Focusing on Policy & Strategies, Delivery Assurance & Capacity Building, Partnership & Investment, Innovation & Data Analytics, and Systems Development, the Commission facilitates and supports the creation of jobs all over the country.
About the Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and in Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest, private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation was created by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own Board of Directors and management. For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org
For media interviews and inquiries, please contact
Center for African Leadership Studies
(CALS), xHub Addis
Tewodros (Teddy) Tadesse Araya
Founder and CEO
Telephone: +251 911701361
Tewedaj Eshetu Dadi
Communications and Public Relations Advisor
Telephone: +251 911620451
Strategy Lead, Program Communications
Telephone: +27 76 166 5372