Digital Startups showcase solutions
February 27, 2023
21 February 2022 - Over 50 digital solutions showcased their work this week when over a hundred small and medium enterprises (SMEs) converged for the Digital Startup Marketplace 2023.
The two-day event, held at the Science and Art Museum in Addis Ababa, was organized by UNDP in collaboration with the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MiNT) as well as the Ministry of Labour and Skills (MoLS).
The event focused on digital Startups to align with Ethiopia’s digital transformation strategy 2025The event will be held annually with the UNDP accelerator lab as the integrator among the different stakeholders.
SMEs are widely considered the engine of growth for economies, with vast potential for job creation, across the globe. This is also true for Ethiopia, where UNDP prioritizes partnerships around support for SMEs. The number of micro, small, and medium enterprises in Ethiopia is estimated to be around two million micro, small, and medium enterprises in Ethiopia.
Visiting the event, UNDP Africa Regional Bureau Director, Ms Ahunna Eziakonwa noted that SMEs provide a country with an opportunity to create jobs, advance prosperity and address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The UNDP Africa Director stressed that UNDP was pushing for a startup revolution with opportunities for promoting cross-fertilization of knowledge and skills across the continent.
According to Enkopa, set up by the MoLS, UNDP and partners as a national movement promoting entrepreneurship, Ethiopia’s draft Startup Act, currently awaiting parliament approval, will provide high-growth MSMEs and innovative enterprises with fiscal and financial incentives and the opportunity to access the regulatory sandbox to test their economic model.
The event also hosted panel discussions on digital and innovative finance for SMEs and capabilities and connectedness of the public sector for SME support. One of the panels was organised by the Ethiopian Youth Entrepreneurs Association under the theme SME connectedness and capacity of the public sector to support SMEs, while the other panel, looking at the digital and innovative financing option for SMEs was organised by
UNDP's various interventions around SMEs in Ethiopia focus on helping growth-oriented enterprises and startups to tackle challenges in the startup ecosystem, promote innovation and facilitate innovative access to finance. In line with this support, the Digital marketplace is designed to create ecosystem connections for the supported startups and highlight the importance of SMEs in creating an inclusive economic transformation.
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