GrowthAfrica in Ethiopia

Introduction to GrowthAfrica – the background, impact, activities and how GrowthAfrica supports entrepreneurs and partners in Ethiopia.

GrowthAfrica in Ethiopia launched in 2016. The aim was to scale our accelerator programme and entrepreneurial support activities, providing business growth services and support to impactful Ethiopian entrepreneurs.

GrowthAfrica runs a lean office supported by expertise and staffing from its Nairobi head office from its centrally located office in Addis Ababa.

GrowthAfrica accelerator programme ran Ethiopia’s first 6-month acceleration programme in 2017, comprising a cohort of 10 ventures of 18 entrepreneurs across industries.

  • Cohort no. 2: Started in March 2018 with eight participating ventures.
  • Cohort no. 3: 2019 constituted eight ventures across health, manufacturing, agriculture, service and media industries.
  • Cohort 4: A group of 10 post-revenue ventures recruited in 2020, with the start date moved from May to July due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
  • Cohort 5: Seven ventures selected to join the GrowthAfrica 2021 accelerator programme. 


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About GrowthAfrica

GrowthAfrica Accelerator in Ethiopia

Introduction to GrowthAfrica’s activities in Ethiopia– the background, impact, activities and how entrepreneurs in Ethiopia can be a part of the Accelerator programme.

GrowthAfrica in Ethiopia operations launched in 2016; bringing together its entrepreneurs, founders of small and growing businesses, government officials, capital providers, investors and leading business leaders.

To date, GrowthAfrica has successfully conducted 19 programmes, accelerated 199 unique businesses, with a total of 368 individual entrepreneurs have gone through the programme in all the countries it operates from.

The programme provides ambitious entrepreneurs with access to knowledge, exposure, thought-provoking events, managerial and practical tools, networking, and structured experience-sharing with their peers and facilitate investor connections.

GrowthAfrica, a growth partner for Ethiopia SMEs

Having successfully run GrowthAfrica in Ethiopia's third Accelerator Programme in Ethiopia and eager to start the fourth cohort in 2020, GrowthAfrica believes that Ethiopian entrepreneurs possess great potential to scale and to attract funding for their businesses.

The acceleration programme in Ethiopia focuses on business planning, strategy, and development.

Other key aspects of the GrowthAfrica in Ethiopia programme facilitated workshop included investment readiness and individualised catalytic business support. Invited external key stakeholders - investors, seasoned entrepreneurs, and mentors - gave vital input and insights.

Accelerator programme history Business cohorts accelerated in Kenya since 2016
Ventures accelerated Zambian businesses who have completed the programme
Number of entrepreneurs Individual entrepreneurs who have gone through the programme in Zambia
Female entrepreneurs Zambian female entrepreneurs whose businesses have been accelerated

Illustrating impact in Ethiopia

World-class business acceleration delivered and anchored in Ethiopia

Ventures per country


Mentors and speakers


Applications received


Investors in database


Industries covered

0 Entrepreneurs
281 Male
126 Female

GrowthAfrica Accelerator activities in Ethiopia

In Venture Support

In Venture support is a key part of the programme. Venture visits are organised at specific times to check in on the Ethiopian ventures, conduct veri diligence and offer support.


The Visioning bootcamp introduces entrepreneurs to the programme by guiding them to build their long-medium and short term vision. The Actioning bootcamp guides the entrepreneurs in creating a concrete implementation action plan.

Gap Labs

During the first 6 months of the programme, the entrepreneurs go through a series of 5 gap labs that guide them through analysing specific aspects of their business.

Stories of Ethiopian ventures

Meet the entrepreneurs from the birthplace of coffee (Ethiopia)

Our 2021 Ethiopia Cohort members range from ventures providing school communities with educational support to an independent consulting firm of architects and engineers.These are the top 10 Ethiopian entrepreneurs participating in our Africa’s leading Accelerator Programme;

From passion to business: meet Jennet Lemma of Gaber Garment

Gaber Garment is a garment manufacturing company based in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Birthed from a passion for fashion, the business is divided into three segments: uniform solutions, branded garments and retail with their main customers ranging between the ages of 18 to 35.

The bursting potential Africa’s leather sector

Meet Ethiopia’s Elelan Leather. A leather products manufacturing business located in the country’s capital, Addis Ababa. One of their greatest achievements so far has been creating more than 25 jobs for women within their manufacturing workshop.

Our ventures & entrepreneurs

Meet the entrepreneurs and ventures we have worked with.
Get to know the resourceful network of alumnis that you could join.

We were encouraged to look deeply within the business. We have now successfully managed to fully communicate to the team where we are heading as a business and how we shall achieve it. Our vision has also been incorporated into our daily activities.

Tolera Shula Co-founder, Elelan Leather

Ethiopia team

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Meselu Worku
Growth Catalyst
Skype : Meselu Worku
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Let's Talk

How can we work together? How can we jointly develop more successful Ethiopian businesses which create jobs and economic progress - while delivering impactful and financial returns to investors?

Meselu Worku Growth Catalyst Skype: Meselu Worku +251 911 728 209

Get in touch

Africa map

Impress Hotel
Bole sub-city, Cameroon Street, Woreda 03 House No. New
Adjacent to Medhanialem Cathedral
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia