Cordaid Launches Network of Strong Entrepreneurs in Addis Ababa

Cordaid launches the Network of Strong Entrepreneurs tonight in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. The Network will connect businesses and successful entrepreneurs from around the globe. The event is sold out: many Ethiopian entrepreneurs signed up to attend the event. Government officials and donors will also attend this launch.


The Network of Strong Entrepreneurs

The Network of Strong Entrepreneurs is a place by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, where successful businesses from around the globe are connected, so they can grow faster. We are launching this network in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia tonight, on the 17th of April.

‘There is a great demand for such initiatives in Ethiopia. Entrepreneurs tend not to work together here, or form networks and share their knowledge and expertise. The popularity of this initiative is demonstrated by the number of people that signed up for the event – we only had space for about 60 people, but we had about more than double that amount of registrations. We can now seat about 80 people.’ says Cordaid program manager Mattijs Renden, ‘We have an interesting program, with a special focus on women and young entrepreneurs. As this is a country full of economic potential and growth, an event like this is not just interesting for entrepreneurs. Government officials and donors are also attending this launch’.

Cordaid supports entrepreneurs from the ‘missing middle’ and aims to reach and contribute to the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem. These include a large number of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Sierra Leone and Burundi. Cordaid and partners focus on these SMEs, which are too big to get micro credit funding and too small to hire consultants and obtain loans from banks. We aim to provide them with opportunities to help each other and get access to the right expertise to create successful businesses.

Business-to-business support

The Network launch is not a one-off event. Cordaid offers a number of entrepreneurs in Ethiopia the Resilience Business Development Services. In this program, Cordaid provides business-to-business support for promising and talented SMEs, which have the potential to grow and create job opportunities for others. ‘This will eventually have its ripple effect in the communities,’ says Renden. The services reach from basic entrepreneurial skills such as marketing and accountancy to specific challenges for the Ethiopian context.
Cordaid’s ambition is to expand the Network of Strong Entrepreneurs beyond the countries that we work in; so that the world’s strongest entrepreneurs can all find each other.

The Network was initiated by Cordaid and a number of entrepreneurs. The launch is organized in partnership with R&D Entrepreneurship and Outsourcing Center.

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