Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 3, 2020 – Visa, the world leader in digital payments, and STEMpower, pioneer in STEM Education and Innovation Acceleration in Ethiopia, have today announced a partnership to drive financial inclusion and job creation in Ethiopia for innovators and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Visa has extended a grant to STEMPower that shall enable a collaboration leveraging STEMpower’s existing capabilities within the country to educate innovators and aspiring entrepreneurs by equipping them with business and management skills and financial education to better prepare them in establishing and running TechSMEs.
Visa’s Practical Business Skills & Money Skills will be integral part of the training module to be developed by January.
The program runs for three years from September 30, 2020 to August 31, 2023 and will bring tailored skills to two distinct groups of micro business owners looking to establish and grow their businesses.
In 2017, the National Bank of Ethiopia put in place their Financial Inclusion Strategy with a vision of “achieving universal access to and use of range of affordable and high-quality financial products and services in Ethiopia by 2025”. Limited access to loan and huge bureaucratic hurdles for starting and closing a business and lack of entrepreneurship and business process knowledge and skills at individual levels have been cited as some of the key Business and entrepreneurship challenges in the country.
Furthermore, the Ethiopian Job Creation Commission is working to bridge the 14 million jobs gap by 2025 and 20 Million jobs gap by 2030. To this effect, the plan of action for job creation 2020-2025 has been drafted by outlining six strategic objectives. One of the six objectives is building a vibrant private sector by revamping the current support to Medium, Small, Micro Enterprises (MSMEs), effectively supporting high-potential and high-growth MSMEs and improving the quality of business development services. One of high-potential and high-growth area in this regard is the creation and development of Tech SMEs.
“Visa believes in the importance of bringing underserved individuals globally into the formal financial system. Access to formal financial services can help improve the daily lives of these individuals and create opportunities to alleviate poverty. Through our work of creating and expanding access, Visa collaborates with leading development organizations such as STEMPower to understand the financial needs of diverse populations and deliver tailored local market solutions that meet those needs,” said Abebe Girmay, Senior Business Development Leader and Country Manager for Visa in Ethiopia. (based what is going to be added on job creation – we may/maynot want to tweak it)
“At STEMpower, we believe that trainings provided in the incubation and acceleration centers will foster an entrepreneurial mind set and equip the participants with necessary skills to bridge the gap between being an innovator and entrepreneur, thereby creating a springboard for economic growth via job and enterprise creation. It is therefore imperative that organisations such as ourselves and Visa play a crucial role in contributing to the socioeconomic transformation of the country by nurturing innovators and aspiring entrepreneurs in the process of establishing and running tech-SMEs,” said Kidist Gebreamlak, Executive Director for STEMpower in Ethiopia.
The partnership between STEMpower and Visa will also explore access to financial solutions for youth thereby increase employment and Start-ups ensuring the tech-driven economic growth in Ethiopia.