Making progress with change

Two social entrepreneurs who have completed an intensive training course through the Kavli Trust’s digital accelerator in Ethiopia have now been selected for an incubator programme.

Text: Teresa Grøtan
Photos: Reach for Change

This pair will be further developing their digital concepts to become sustainable businesses in the Ethiopian market, with support from Reach for Change (R4C). The latter is a Swedish organisation which works to utilise innovative solutions for improving the lives of children, and which backs social entrepreneurs in 18 countries worldwide.

Pilot

By contributing to R4C’s Ethiopian digital accelerator, the Kavli Trust has helped eight entrepreneurs to develop successful pilot projects. That has included design, testing the format and technical solution, financing and not least pitching their ideas to potential clients and investors.

Two of these projects have now been selected for participation in the incubator programme, which involves continued commercial development. This will help those chosen to build capacity for upscaling their business over one-five years, depending on progress. They have been assigned a personal mentor from the business community.

Matching

The two projects selected for the incubator are both focused on matching young Ethiopians with the right jobs.

Tatari

Underlying the Tatari (“hard-working” in Amharic) website is the knowledge that young Ethiopians lack the means to meet their basic needs, and therefore often have to abandon their studies. Through this service, they are offered such jobs as teaching, editing, translation and programming – allowing them to earn money while gaining relevant experience for their education.

Thirty-three “tartaris” have registered so far, along with 76 clients seeking people to carry out various assignments. The website has been developed by Melat Habtemariam and Amanuel Lemma. Go to tatariapp.com.

EthioInterns

Finding a job is very difficult for many newly-graduated young Ethiopians, since most companies prefer to employ people with experience. Apprenticeships also generally go to youngsters who have a connection with the relevant employer.

The EthioInterns web platform seeks to match young people with the right employer and thereby make the labour market more equitable. This site has been developed by Nathan Mulugeta. See a beta version at beta.ethiointerns.com.

Variety

The other participants in the digital accelerator have pursued a variety of projects.

Hawi Dadhi has launched a website by and for Ethiopian students: Studentethiopia.com.

Bezawit Worku’s focus has been on an e-learning platform for women: tibeb.net.

Natnael Getachew is pursuing an e-learning platform designed to be more interactive: abugidatech.com.

Masresha Beniam has started a course for women on using computers and the internet.

Henok Alemu and Yidnekachew Esmail have created a database which helps HIV patients to take their medication at the right time.

Sinshaw Meried has launched a web-based book lending service.