STEMpower, an Ethiopian firm working on creating STEM entrepreneurs and innovators, and VISA, the world’s leading digital payment platform, announced a successful first month for their project with the Ethiopian government that was finalised last November and launched on February 1st. The project aims to facilitate job creation efforts by endowing youth with the technical skills that are essential to run small and medium enterprises.
Ethiopia currently has a prevalent youth unemployment problem. Estimates by the Ethiopian Jobs Creation Commission expect a more than 14 million jobs shortfall by 2025. This and similar projections have led to a scramble to boost the small and medium enterprise market.
To help achieve this goal, the STEMpower-VISA partnership seeks to provide training to 3,600 candidates in three years. One of the main focus points will be on consolidating STEM innovation capabilities with an entrepreneurial mindset in order to equip thinkers, researchers, and inventors with the skills needed to market the byproducts of their creativity.
Abyssinia Bank and Berhan Bank have also pledged to support the project. Through the various capabilities that the partners bring to the table, entrepreneurs will be provided credit lines, incubation spaces and services, research lab access, and other vital tools for at least one year to develop the ideas and skills they work on during their training.