Young entrepreneurs’ effort is promising to tackle the employment challenge

Scholars agree that young entrepreneurs can be part of the solution to the national employment challenge if they get strong support and encouragement from the government and the general public. They also recommend that there are countless ways to set up young entrepreneurs for success.

Providing more financial capital, offering training programs on how to grow a business, creating access to bigger markets as well as rewarding and accrediting them and their idea are amongst the basic tasks to be done for young entrepreneurs’ achievement and their significant role in the national economic growth.

Accordingly, the government of Ethiopia, particularly, the Ministry of Labor and Skills is walking forward in a way to encouraging youths for their remarkable and significant creative ideas. With a mission to drive job creation through innovation and action, the Ministry aims to facilitate the creation of 3 million jobs by 2020, 14 million by 2025 and 20 million by 2030.

In this regard, the Ministry recently accredited 30 youths for their new entrepreneur idea under Bruh Innovative Business Idea Competition. On the occasion, The Minister Muffrihat Kamil, who presented the awards to the innovators, said that if the ideas and results can be interpreted into action, it will be promising for bright future of a country.

Pointing out that the number of young people seems small, she underlined that the situation in Ethiopia indicates it has untapped potential for entrepreneurs and job seekers. She further related that the job ideas innovated by the youths have a great potential to create job opportunities for themselves and others too.

She also elucidated that it is possible to convert the current employment related challenges the nation is facing in to opportunities if the youths work hard on significant innovational activities. It is also of paramount importance to rebranding the country with entrepreneurship development across the world. She further recommended the youths to work on import substitution and foreign currency generation through producing items to be exported for the international market.

According to State Minister Nigussu Tilahun, Bruh Innovative Business Idea Competition is a call to young entrepreneurs to bring forth innovative ideas to solve critical cross-sectoral challenges such as infrastructure, health, agriculture and others to meet public needs and grow to become a profitable company on the way.

The competition further aims to facilitate trainings, seed grant and acceleration to entrepreneurs who are mature in concept and can be commercialized timely. As to him, Bruh will support business development from idea generation to financially rewarding business. Boosting Bruh’s impact, thus, requires active and mature enterprise ideas that are applicable and can penetrate the market as well as generate revenue in at least three years time and have the capacity to be scaled up.

This will be the basis for flourishing the entrepreneurship environment in Ethiopia and a multiplier effect can be observed regarding job creation. Since the launch of the project on the beginning of January 2021, the competition has been implemented in collaboration with multiple governmental and non-governmental partners to produce highly-competitive entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas and provide them 15 days intensive boot camp trainings.

In the second edition, the Ministry of Labor and Skills is implementing the competition in partnership with UNDP, Master- Card Foundation Young Africa Works, and the Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC) – Ethiopia.

Mentioning that 462 business ideas have applied for the 2021 Bruh Innovative Business Idea Competition, the State Minster explained that 50 business ideas have completed the boot camp and reached the final competition and pitched their business ideas to a high-pro-le panel of judges. From these 50 contestants, the top 30 -finalists have been awarded with 245,000 ETB of seed grants and the top 10 have also been provided with a 6-month acceleration program, he noted.

As to the State Minister, the scope, affordability, innovativeness, its approach on problem solving, finance feasibility of the startups were among the criteria provided for selecting the best 30. He further explained that the youths were given training on business and skills and were acknowledged; adding that presenting such problem-solving ideas, particularly at a time when the country is under various problems indicates bright future of the country.

Daniel Jisso and Yoseph Noha co- founders of Bros Livestock Feed Processing organization were among the certified entrepreneurs. Approached by The , they stated that their organization is established by eight young entrepreneurs who are just graduated in different fields of study in their first degree.

According to them, the company plans to start its business as livestock feed producer with a plan to expand its production capacity and variety to different sub-sectors such as poultry and cattle feed. They have also planned to process their products from recycling fruit and crop peel like mango, maize, pineapple, banana and others.

“Owing to the fact Ethiopia is one of the first in animal possession from Africa; we are inspired to work on this sector. As a matter of fact, there is lack of animal feed in the country. Therefore, our association will directly benefit the agriculture sector and the actors who are engaging in the sector,” they underscored.

Being thankful for Bruh innovative Business Idea Competition, Ministry of Labor and Skill, UNDP, Entrepreneurship Development Center- Ethiopia for the golden opportunity they have provided for them, the entrepreneurs explained that they will start their operation within three months of period. As to them they have received working land from the government and ordered machineries in collaboration with Development Bank of Ethiopia.

Betrework Mitku, Batica Waste Plastic Recycling Association founder and General Manager on his part said that his company provides a wide range of plastic solutions for households and raw material for recycling forecast to the various companies. Hawassa is a place where the facility will be established and other operations will commence soon. “We will collect the plastic garbage and then our recycle unit will process it which eventually be used for the production of finished goods,” he added.

Employing the advantages of being graduated from Addis Ababa University Department of Chemical Engineering and working for an institution for the past three years, he was inspired to create his own business through the opportunity provided by Bruh innovative competition. And he requested the government to provide a working land to operate his work properly which will create more than 3 thousand job opportunities within the coming couple of years.

Soressa Dereje, founder of Quad copter drone for small scale agricultural mechanism, for his part stated that his company has a capacity to manufacture drones which perform multipurpose agricultural activities in Ethiopia and providing training service for their customers how to manipulate the drones.

As to him, he has established his company in jimma town of Oromia regional state to solve problem on agriculture sector of the country. Cognizant of the fact that agriculture sector is back bone of the nation’s economy; their products are highly noteworthy for supporting the sector parallel with creating job opportunities for citizens.

It provides pesticide spraying drones, sound system for scaring locust and other crop consuming animals and a machine that picks and places harvested grains and carryout other agricultural activities to increase productivity. As the market forecasts indicate, net profit of the product will increase in a remarkable percentage within one year and the productivity will steadily grow within the coming three years, he noted.

According to him, health problem concerning the spraying of chemicals in agricultural sector; locust or other invasions; lack of productivity by using traditional farming method coupled with improper use of time and energy in agriculture have been among the problems they have identified and can be solved by this newly innovated product.

He further pointed out that the product is vital for saving farmers’ time, human labor and health generating additional profit for the farmer, crating high quality production and making healthy environment.

Mentioning his initial investment cost for startup is 645,000 ETB, he explained that investors on agriculture sectors, farmers, unions, government sector are beneficiaries of this product. Kicking off its work with 8 employees for the first year, the company will create 25 job opportunities for the next year and for more than 500 persons after its expansion in different regions, Soressa added.

All in all, the entrepreneurs recommend the youths for their initiation to create their own startups rather than waiting solution for their unemployment only from one side. They also explained that there are enormous alternatives for the youths in creating their own job opportunities to benefit themselves and others too. “It is like killing many birds with a stone if we work on creating our own job,” they suggested.



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