UNDP, Microsoft agree to empower 200,000 entrepreneurs in Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa, 14 August 2014 (WIC) - The United Nations Development Programme has signed a collaborative agreement with Microsoft East Africa Limited to enhance development activities in the areas of entrepreneurship.

The two organisations have agreed for Microsoft to provide training and mentorship services to Ethiopia’s UNDP supported Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP) for 200 thousand entrepreneurs.

These services form part of Microsoft’s 4Afrika Initiative, which looks to accelerate Africa’s economic development and improve its global competitiveness by empowering local entrepreneurs.

Microsoft brings this vision, as well as its vast experience in providing ICT skills, education and curriculum for developing countries, to the deal.

As part of this agreement, senior Microsoft executive volunteers will provide support, including mentoring entrepreneurs on strategy and marketing; support the best innovators and nominate them for the 4Afrika Innovation Grant Award; provide access to Microsoft BizSpark, a global program that provides free software to startup entrepreneurs and help entrepreneurs exchange products and service and gain global recognition through the Microsoft Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) portal

UNDP’s partnership deal with Microsoft also includes a ‘Build Your Own Business’ training, which is designed to help micro and small businesses empower current and aspiring entrepreneurs.

This is UNDP Ethiopia’s first private sector partnership.

“The goods and services offered by Microsoft provides a unique opportunity to unleash the potential of young and budding entrepreneurs. This will help them to play a vital role in the economic growth and transformational development of Ethiopia,” UNDP Resident Representative, Eugene Owusu, said. 

“The goods and services offered by Microsoft provides a unique opportunity to unleash the potential of young and budding entrepreneurs. This will help them to play a vital role in the economic growth and transformational development of Ethiopia.”

Eric Odipo, Country Manager of Microsoft East and Southern Africa, agrees. “It is crical to develop the capacity, knowledge and skills of local entrepreneurs who will stimulate local economies. We look forward to working with the UNDP in taking innovative business models to scale.”