The agricultural industry employs 85% of the country’s workforce. Crop production alone accounts for 60% of its GDP. Yet, it’s difficult for young people to find paid work in the sector. Youth unemployment is high, with 1 in 4 youth unemployed. Agricultural Technical and Vocational Education and Training Institutions (ATVETs) have been a pathway for youth to gain decent work in the government. Still, due to high demand, the number of available positions can’t keep up with the number of agricultural college graduates. As a result, Ethiopian youth are graduating with agricultural skills but they are unable to gain employment.
To alleviate this problem, MEDA and its partners, Dalhousie University, McGill University, and Jimma University, worked together on the Agricultural Transformation Through Stronger Vocational Education (ATTSVE) project. ATTSVE brought colleges and industry together to provide practical learning opportunities that equipped students with the necessary skills to succeed in their careers. The project further offered training for instructors and students in value chain development, business management, and entrepreneurship.
Through your financial support and in partnership with funding from Global Affairs Canada, the ATTSVE project increased the number of men and women graduates from agricultural colleges in Maichew, Nejo, Woreta, and Wolaita Soddo, Ethiopia with the skills and knowledge to succeed in the commercial agriculture sector in Ethiopia.
Business advice and Innovation Grants so that graduates could start their own sustainable businesses
Connections to the industry that boosts their skills development through cooperative education placements
Educational opportunities in value chain and business management
Learning by doing is a highly effective teaching method, especially for students in agriculture. That’s one of ATTSVE’s main approaches: to teach experienced college teachers how to deliver practical lessons that will improve their students’ learning. While the teachers had extensive experience in agriculture, they had limited business and entrepreneurship knowledge as well as practical business experience.
Throughout the training program, these teachers took several seminars to improve their skills in business management and entrepreneurship, including two sessions on market assessments and value chain development fundamentals. The teachers learned how to conduct interviews with market actors and worked with project staff to develop valuable market research skills and a value chain map. Later, participants were then asked to use the market research they collected to build business models and then create business plans.
Participants took part in a pitch competition and submitted their businesses for evaluation. These formed the foundation of the on-campus businesses that were started at each college. With your support, these teachers learned how to instill their students with critical skills to build bright futures in the agricultural industry.
“I participated on MEDA trainings about entrepreneurship, business plan development, value chain development and marketing management which had added to my skill. For instance, as a result of the trainings, I was supporting the students in preparing business plans for SME grants by ATTSVE. I was also training graduates about customer relationships management, communications, value chain, product quality, and market research.”
– Wolaita Soddo Instructor
“The ATTSVE project encouraged me to write my own business plan and fulfill my dream of starting my own business. They not only helped me get my business started financially, [but] they also gave me technical support which taught me practical skills I would not have learned otherwise,” Mebrehit said.
Today, Mebrehit owns her own small business, which contains 80 chickens that produce over 70 eggs per day to sell to local markets. She plans to get a larger space to house her chickens soon and purchase an incubator to produce 45-day-old chickens for sale and sell their eggs. This will also allow her to expand her farm.
With the support of the ATTSVE project and its generous donors, she is excited to continue growing her business and serving her community.
students secured co-operative work placements
of these co-op students were women
started 8 on-campus businesses
students established 62 start-up businesses
business planning and management training sessions were conducted with staff and graduates
clients were trained in these planning and management training sessions
Through the ATTSVE project, you provided hardworking youth, like Mebrehit, with demand-driven skills that they need to find decent work in the Ethiopian agricultural sector and transform their communities. Thank You!
7 Years: 2014-2021
MEDA Private Supporters: $140,000
Dalhousie University: $1.7M