Emerging Agribusiness Innovators and Entrepreneurs in Ethiopia Graduate from the blueMoon — Mowgli Mentoring Program

Emerging AgriBusiness

Mowgli Mentoring and blueMoon, Ethiopia’s first youth agribusiness incubator and seed investor held a graduation ceremony for the participants of its mentoring program for entrepreneurs on 20th February 2018. Held at the ADDIS Garage, the event brought together the graduating entrepreneurs and mentors, as well as blueMoon, Lions Den and ecosystem partners to celebrate the achievements made by the program participants within the yearlong program.

The Mowgli Mentoring program, which is accredited by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council, was provided, in addition to the incubator program and financial investment which blueMoon provides.

Within this program, which was launched in January 2017 with a Mentoring Awareness Session, 6 blueMoon entrepreneur teams were matched with 6 Ethiopia-based Mowgli trained mentors. Following the unique matching, the mentoring relationships were supported for one year through relationship enhancement activities and regular monitoring and evaluation to enhance the quality of the mentoring relationships, address any challenges and address the impact achieved on the personal, business and economic growth levels, which are the three impact areas that Mowgli Mentoring seeks to achieve.

Kathleen Bury, CEO of Mowgli Mentoring commented, ‘The impact of entrepreneurial mentoring cultivates generations of able business leaders who go beyond shaping economies to also communities and societies through their enterprises. With 64% of Ethiopia’s population being below the age of 24, and entrepreneurs acting as the greatest employment generators in emerging economies, we need to really focus on empowering the youth in order to achieve sustainable development in future. Business skills training, advice and investment alone will not achieve it. We are so proud to see these young blueMoon innovators and entrepreneurs being a part of the solution. They have shown tremendous perseverance, tenacity and growth within a short time span, and through their various business pivots, awards and achievements, they join our 800+ entrepreneur alumni in continuing to demonstrate the true power, impact and need for mentoring in unlocking potential to seize new opportunities to drive personal, business and economic growth.”

It has been an impactful year filled with great successes. The entrepreneurs have earned local recognition as they participated in Ethiopia’s first Lion’s Den — an investment TV show which saw a total of 7 million Birr invested in 4 of the youth-led enterprises. Christian Tesfaye who is co-founder of GebeyaNet, an agri-tech company, won the Slush Global Impact Accelerator competition making him not only the youngest innovator at Slush but placing Ethiopia on the global technology map. Biruk Girma who is co-founder of Nature4Nature, a bio organic fertiliser production company, was selected for the prestigious Skoll Foundation Emerging Leaders for 2018, making him the first Ethiopian selected for this prestigious award.

About blueMoon Ethiopia

blueMoon is an exciting new private sector initiative, established in November 2016, as Ethiopia’s first youth agribusiness incubator and seed funding investor, founded by the former CEO and founder of the renown Ethiopia Commodity Exchange, Dr. Eleni Zaude Gabre-Madhin.

We discover, nurture, and invest in exceptional youth entrepreneurs aged 15 to 29. We aim high, and look for innovative, scalable, and high-impact businesses across the agricultural value chain and across commodities. Twice a year, we run a national competition and accept a small number of startups (5 to 10) into our on-site 4-month program based in Addis Ababa. Our batches run February to May (Bega Batch) and August to November (Kiremt batch).

For more on blueMoon, Visit www.bluemoonethiopia.com

About Mowgli Mentoring (now The Human Edge)

Mowgli Mentoring is a not-for-profit organisation driving inclusive economic and social change in the Middle East and Africa. Mowgli’s unique, award-winning methodology provides a supportive framework which empowers entrepreneurs, corporate employees, women and youth to unlock their potential and seize new opportunities.

Over the past decade Mowgli has worked with philanthropists, and local and international governmental and private sector partners to provide mentoring across 16 countries in the Middle East and Africa. Mowgli has trained more than a thousand mentors who have supported entrepreneurs from all sectors. They create and safeguard jobs, producing a significant economic and social return on investment.

Mowgli Mentoring’s methodology supports long-term professional and personal development. Their volunteer mentors are trained to listen, guide and inspire. Mentors themselves testify as to how the mentoring process also helps their own development. Mowgli systematically matches mentors with mentees, and provides structured support as they co-develop long-term, trust-based relationships. Mowgli’s approach is a practical and sustainable way of developing human capital to the benefit of the whole community.