GlobalCAD experts develop Business Model and Sustainability Strategy for Ethiopia’s Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC)

Entrepreneurship contributes significantly to income generating activities and employment. Ethiopia, characterised by high unemployment rates especially among the younger generations, therefore prioritised the development of entrepreneurship and of micro and small enterprises towards job creation and rapid and sustainable growth. A vivid scene of highly qualified entrepreneurs and an economy with a strong and competitive SME backbone will fuel Ethiopia’s endeavour to become a lower-middle income country.

To facilitate achieving the country’s ambitious goals set out in its Growth and Transformation Plans, the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing and the Federal Urban Job Creation and Food Security Agency, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Ethiopia, launched the Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP) in February 2013. The aim of the EDP has been to foster the emergence of a robust and competitive private sector through the development of the micro and small enterprise (MSE) sector. In this context, the EDP established the Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC), a semi-autonomous organisation, to spearhead the implementation of the innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme in the country.

In light of the phase out of the programme in June 2020, UNDP entrusted GlobalCAD to lead the development of a sound business model and sustainability strategy for the EDC and to help increase its visibility and branding to further attract technical support and mobilise resources. The aim is to ensure that the EDC can continue providing and further develop its services in the future, to ultimately help the country achieving its growth and development objectives.

During the project, which ended in December 2019, the team of GlobalCAD experts firstly conducted a comprehensive document review, including existing programme documents and work plans, policy frameworks, laws, national development plans and other relevant literature. Secondly, various public and private key stakeholders were identified and consulted through a survey. Additionally, the experts conducted a series of in-person interviews with relevant ministries, donor organisations, and business representatives during their mission to Addis Ababa in October 2019. Furthermore, the team assessed and collected best practices on entrepreneurship development services from ten other countries around the world, providing valuable applicable lessons that were relevant to the Ethiopian context.

Based on the analysis of the data collected and documents reviewed, a comprehensive report was prepared and provided to UNDP. The document elaborates different business model options and potential sustainability strategies and proposes the way forward towards EDC’s perpetuation along a three-phased approach, comprising the consolidation and improvement, diversification, and upscaling of EDC’s activities.