25. August 2016

Accelerating Ethiopian progress

Combining digital innovation with social entrepreneurship creates a limitless potential, says Reach for Change. The Kavli Trust is backing this organisation’s groundbreaking work in Ethiopia.

Text: Reach for Change/Teresa Grøtan
Photos: Reach for Change.

The Kavli digital accelerator programme is supporting social entrepreneurs with ideas about digital solutions which benefit children, young people and women in the east African country.

Selected by Reach for Change, the recipients will be able to develop their concepts into viable and sustainable solutions for social challenges.


Reach for Change is present in seven African countries and currently supports 100 social entrepreneurs through its accelerator and incubator programmes. The Kavli Trust is also supporting the organisation’s work in Ghana.

“The accelerator programmes aim to make concepts ‘investor ready’,” explains Inger Elise Iversen, general manager for the trust.

“These ideas are sharpened and the social entrepreneur is trained in making pitches to investors and other potential backers.”

App for mobile

Tizzita Fassika

Fassika Fikre and Tizzita Tefera are working on a typical scheme aimed at using mobile technology to reduce child mortality in Ethiopia.

This project fits very well with the UN’s sustainability goals for 2030. One of these is to prevent deaths among newborn infants and children under the age of five.

The couple are working on an SMS app called mTena, which offers life-saving information to pregnant women, with help from Reach for Change to develop, implement and develop their idea.

This will allow it to reach as many of the target users as possible, and eventually to contribute to saving lives throughout the country.

Digital potential

Ethiopia has a big potential for digital social entrepreneurship, says Amma Lartey, who heads Reach for Change’s African activities.

“A flourishing community of local innovators exists with fantastic ideas which can change society. What they need is people who understand them, believe in them and can help them reach their goals.

“The Kavli digital accelerator will enable Ethiopia’s most promising social entrepreneurs to achieve sustainable, positive progress in the years to come.”


Iversen agrees with these views, and notes that Reach for Change is one of the leading players in developing social entrepreneurship in Ethiopia.

“Technological progress is rapid, and a high pace of digital innovation provides new opportunities for combating poverty,” she adds.

“A particular concentration on advances in this area through the Kavli digital innovation programme will ultimately have great significance.”

Reach more about Reach for Change in Ethiopia