Who We Are

The Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) - Ethiopia is an autonomous institution reporting to the newly established Ministry of Labor and Skills, came into being following the latest government reorganization bringing together two entities, namely: The UNDP-supported Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI), established in February 2013, and the World Bank-financed Women Entrepreneurship Development Project (WEDP), inaugurated in December 2012. Both projects used to operate under the auspices of the former Ministry of Urban Development and Construction before the reorganization. EDI aims to midwife the emergence of a vibrant, competitive, and innovative private sector driven by a dynamic, vibrant, and growth-oriented SME sector. This is accomplished through a comprehensive package of entrepreneurship support programs ranging from ecosystem and capacity building to business development services (BDS), access to finance, and market linkage. Following its new mandate as a national institution, EDI plays a key role not only in the entrepreneurial ecosystem but also in self-employment. In the same vein, EDI has undertaken a strategic shift from direct services provider to building the capacities of other public and private institutions.

Towards this end, EDI has instituted a national infrastructure consisting of strong regional presence, institutional relationships, and human resources capabilities. Headquartered in Addis Ababa, it has four regional offices—Amhara, Oromia, Southern, and Tigray—with plans to expand to other regions. Moreover, it is embedded with the One-Stop Service Centers in 18 cities. Currently, EDI has 323 trainers (1 International Master Trainer and 39 Master Trainers) and up to 760 Business Development Services (BDS) Advisors. While EDI selects, trains, certifies, and invests in their continuous professional development, these trainers and advisors are not EDI employees but rather independent private sector actors.

EDI has also helped establish Centers of Excellence in Entrepreneurship (CoEEs) in higher education to create entrepreneurship mindsets among faculty, university graduates, and the local community. With EDI’s support, the CoEEs regularly conduct business idea competitions and incubate the most promising business ventures. EDI’s engagement with the education system is not only aimed at building their entrepreneurial competencies but also instilling a more behavioral, practical, skill- centered and hands-on approach to their teaching thereby improving the quality of education in the country so that their graduates could easily secure gainful employment and/or have what it takes to launch their own startups and succeed.

Last but not least, the Institute has also recently launched a Public Entrepreneurship program aimed at addressing persistent gaps with the public service system. These challenges include the rampant lack of self-initiative, poor efficiency, absence of innovativeness, creativity, and strategic thinking, and undue focus on routine activities at the expense of outcomes, not to mention a mindset not necessarily pro- business, especially when it comes to supporting SMEs. Like all of EDI’s packages, this one was also was developed after a painstaking assessment of the situation on the ground particularly feedback from SMEs, who usually complain of chocking under the weight of an unresponsive and an unempathetic bureaucracy.

Having administered a program budget over $173 million, EDI has gained a reputation for high impact rooted in its rigorous and methodology-driven human capacity development and an efficient, innovative, flexible, and mission-driven work culture. As such, it is one of the first national institutions with international certification. Please review below EDI’s area of expertise, works done with Key Partners and Success Stories for further reference.


Areas of Specialization

  • Building institutional capacity of government and private sector institutions which have stake in entrepreneurship and private sector development and youth empowerment to help them improve the business environment for enterprise and private sector development. With this area of engagement, the implementation capacity of several government institutions such as ministries and regional bureaus, public universities, technical and vocational training and education agencies and institutions, sector associations, youth associations, woman entrepreneurs’ associations, and regional chambers of commerce have been built.
  • Providing innovative entrepreneurship competencies and employability skills enhanced training. The Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) – Ethiopia has already built unique competencies in designing and implementing numerous training in the areas of entrepreneurship skills improvement, productivity enhancement, and employability enhancement skills. Some of the core training products of EDI are Entrepreneurship Training Workshop (ETW) – an international six-day intensive non-residential program that is learners centered, practical, hands-on attitudinal and behavioral change training program built upon adult learning principles; Women Entrepreneurship Training (WET); Low Literacy Entrepreneurs Training (LLET); Youth Entrepreneurship Training (YET); Rural Entrepreneurship Training (RET). EDI also specializes in providing training in productivity engagement training (PET) for government and private sector employees and Employability Enhancement Training (EET) for prospective graduates of higher learning institutions.
  • Provision of customized, continuous and inclusive business development services to micro small, medium enterprises to enhance their productivity, competitiveness and job creation of potential. EDI designs and implements these handholding services via different schemes. Group coaching, one on one mentorship, and executive mentorship are some of the approaches via which business advisory services are implemented. Aspiring entrepreneurs, owners of existing micro, small, and medium enterprises can benefit from this support packages.
  • Facilitation of Access to Finance – EDI closely works with microfinance institutions and banks across the country with the intuition to engage them constructively so that they would come up with innovative financial instruments for micro, small and medium enterprises.