More than $6billon required to unlock MSME’s hurdles, reveals report

By Eyasu Zeakarias

Reports reveal that a capital of 6.1 billion dollars may fill the 80 percent gap in the market affecting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Ethiopia

The criteria set depicted that financial institutions need to provide guarantees and loans, and lack of such results to the flop of most MSMEs. Second to the bottleneck that the MSMEs faced was the lack of financial education and awareness of savings and credit management, as well as the lack of access to market connections and places.   

To alleviate the burden, the Canadian-based MasterCard Foundation has set a goal of creating job opportunities for 30 million young people by 2023 through the “Young Africa Works Strategy” launched in Africa in 2018.

As the foundation disclosed, since 2019 when they started this strategy in Ethiopia alone, they enabled 1.27 million youths to get job opportunities by coordinating with partner organizations.

According to Samuel Yalew, Ethiopian Country Director of MasterCard Foundation, since 2019, they have been working together with 53 organizations working in tax, manufacturing, tourism and digital technology priority sectors.

According to the Ethiopian 2021 Labor Force and Migration survey, the country’s unemployment rate was eight percent as of August 2021. The national unemployment rate for women, 11.7 percent, was more than double that of men 5.0 percent. Youth unemployment, among those aged 15-29, was 7.7 percent. Urban unemployment 17.9 percent was significantly higher than rural unemployment.

The International Labor Organization assessment report in 2022 estimated that more than two million young people enter the labor market every year, yet the economy is unable to meet the demand.

The second round of the MasterCard Foundation Young Africa Works Strategy commitment to Action: Access to Inclusive and Affordable Finance to Stimulate Job Creation was held at the Ethiopian Partners annual Learning Summit on December 5, 2023.

At the event, job creation was also linked to support gender equality and economic growth. Kifiya Financial Technology, Mesirat, Zelela, Gebeya, Cawee, Biru and Derja are among the organizations that are working together with MasterCard Foundation to support the cause.

These companies have been working together for more than two years and have provided favorable conditions to harbor the job creation industry.

According to Samuel, 75 percent of the foundation’s partners are African organizations that are committed to solving basic problems while supporting solutions.

This year’s summit brought together around 200 participants and created the opportunity for policy and decision-makers to engage in an insightful environment that stimulates significant steps to build stakeholder-preneurship and job placement.

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