Mastercard Foundation Launches $24.8 million Facility To Support Startups And SMEs in Ethiopia

tartups, small and medium scale businesses in Ethiopia have a new support from Mastercard Foundation. The Jobs Creation Commission of Ethiopia, the Mastercard Foundation and First Consult have announced the creation of the Mastercard Foundation MSE’s Resilience Facility. This is an emergency program that will support micro and small-sized enterprises (MSEs) and start-ups in Ethiopia during the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here Is What You Need To Know

  • The program, with an initial commitment of approximately USD 24.8 million from the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program , will ensure MSEs remain solvent, retain their employees, and are able to create increasingly innovative work opportunities in the wake of COVID-19.
  • The implementation and monitoring of the Mastercard Foundation MSE’s Resilience Facility will be undertaken collaboratively by the three organizations. The provision of financial assistance, in the form of grants and soft loans, via participating institutions — Banks, Microfinance, and Business Development Services — to eligible, qualified micro- and small-sized enterprises, both formal and informal.

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The amount and type of financial support provided will vary depending on the size of enterprise and their needs and will focus on supporting MSEs and start-ups within the following two categories:

  • High Vulnerability: Registered micro enterprises and informal firms that are self-employed.
  • Moderate Vulnerability: Small enterprises facing extreme slowdown within service-related businesses and that are at risk of major interruption or cancellation of orders.

The program, to be implemented in Addis Ababa, is anticipated to:

  • Prevent 24,000 MSEs from going bankrupt and closing permanently.
  • Prevent more than 50,000 employees from losing their jobs.
  • Equip three financial institutions to effectively partner with MSEs through collateral free loans and increase their adoption rate of digitally based micro credit.

How And When Can Startups Begin Pitching?

According to the press release, once participating institutions have been onboarded, the Jobs Creation Commission and First Consult, a leading consulting firm specialising in the design and delivery of interventions that support private sector advancement and the overall economic development of Ethiopia, will put out a call to MSEs and startups to apply for funding, which will be announced soon.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Jobs Creation Commission

Tewedaj Eshetu, Communications and PR Advisor
Telephone: +251 116 671792

Mastercard Foundation

Helen White, Strategy Lead, Program Communications
Telephone: +27 76 166 5372

First Consult

Eden Mesfin, Communications Lead
Telephone: +251 114 401 473


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