The official launch ceremony of the project, which requires 26. 3 million US dollars, took place at the Ethiopian Premier's Office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, in the presence of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia, senior government officials, diplomats and heads of different organizations among others.
The program was developed by the Ethiopian Ministry of Urban Development and Construction, and the UNDP to unleash a transformational change through tapping into the creativity and drive of existing and aspiring Ethiopian entrepreneurs to accelerate country's economic growth, create jobs, wealth and alleviate poverty, according to the UNDP.
The UNDP has revealed that it has already allocated 6 million dollars of the 26.3 million dollars required for the project. Ethiopia's Entrepreneurship Development Program will provide training and comprehensive business advisory services to micro- and small-scale enterprises, said the UNDP.
In a press statement the UNDP said, "The program will develop enterprises of over 200,000 entrepreneurs through provision of entrepreneurial skills training and business advisory services. In order to ensure the sustainability of the program, twenty five thousand additional people will be trained as Trainers and a further 20,000 trained as Business Advisors to support the implementation of the program."
It was also noted that the program is running in the year 2012- 2015.
Officially launching the project, Prime Minister Hailemariam has lauded the project a very important for national development endeavors that his government is undertaking in the country.
He stated that the initiative is important as it targets micro and small enterprises as well as the youth and women.
The prime minister noted that the project has significant contribution to job creations and stimulation of economic growth in the country.
Hailemariam has also highlighted on the need to be engaged in business development services that will see new micro and small enterprises and enhancement of the existing ones.
Eugen Owusu, UNDP Resident Representative, stated that the project is an important initiative that helps realization of dreams of Ethiopian entrepreneurs who aspire to create great successful enterprises and thus contribute to the transformative agenda of the country.
Hailing the program unique and robust, Mekuria Haile, minister of Urban Development and Construction, said the program provides targeted support to the micro and small scale sector, to create job opportunities, and to ultimately contribute to the attainment of the country's development goals.
The minister noted that the program would help transform the attitude of many of Ethiopian young people graduated from technical and vocational training institutions and universities that they would be initiators for job creations for themselves and others.