Country Portfolio Ethiopia

In 2022, CFYE launched a Call for Solutions in Ethiopia to co-invest in innovative private sector-led initiatives that provide businesses with access to suitably skilled personnel and realize employment for youth. The below portfolio represents the winners of the first Call of Solutions. 

Ethiopia’s Job Market & Youth

With one of the youngest populations globally, Ethiopia’s working-age population is projected to reach approximately 75 million by 2025. Despite the influx of the younger working population, youth unemployment is driven mainly by inexperienced first-time job seekers. The lack of experience coupled with the lack of entry-level opportunities, compounds this problem. With more than two million entrants to the labor market each year, it is clear that there are not enough decent opportunities being created for Ethiopian youth. Even more so for young women who hold an altogether disproportionately high rate standing at 32%.  With a backlog of at least 2.5 million unemployed in 2018, the country must create 2.8 million jobs per year from 2020 to 2025.

The CFYE Youth Action Research found that a significant proportion of the youth aspires to be employed within IT, communication, leadership, agriculture, healthcare, and advocacy roles.

It is a common conception of the youth in Ethiopia, that their education has not fully equipped them for the job market. Employers also report a deficiency in the level of soft skills, acknowledging a need for extensive training in this field. Action is required to both stimulate economic growth and address the skills mismatch in the labour market. The Challenge Fund for Youth Employment will focus on co-funding initiatives with a short to medium-term impact, considering the structural barriers and testing innovative approaches that carry spillover effects on the systemic/macro-economic level.

Planned Impact

Our Portfolio in Ethiopia

Stemming from Ethiopian youth’s ambitions and the current needs of the employment market, we developed a portfolio that prioritizes work in agricultural and last-mile solutions. The total number of planned jobs based on the portfolio of the first Call will surpass 16.000. Around 8.400 of these projected jobs will be new jobs, while the rest will be realized by matching youth to relevant jobs or improving the conditions of existing jobs to achieve decency in work.

More than 80% (roughly 7.000) of the planned jobs to be created in Ethiopia will be for young women

CFYE’s Ethiopian portfolio clearly reflects the youth’s and employment market’s ambitions in developing the agricultural and last-mile employment sector. Our partners operate in innovative fields, catering to the desires and skills of youth.

With CFYE’s investment, we will be able to scale the impact of our innovative business model to reduce unemployment in Ethiopia. We will engage women and youth in agricultural transformation which will empower and enable them to develop professionally and invest in their future.

The technical support from CFYE, supplemented with our matching contribution, will allow us to create meaningful employment opportunities for 2,000+ agroforestry practising smallholder farmers. We will invest in an integrated sourcing to market strategy to create and match decent job opportunities. 


With the support of CFYE, our operations can be significantly expanded in order to create decent work and meet customer demand. Our integrated farm will empower more young people by supplying quality eggs through Enhanced Employment through Entrepreneurship in Ethiopia (ETHEOPIE).

We are focused on empowering women and youth through Ethiopia’s Bamboo value chain. With CFYE’s grant, we can expand our operations by creating a marketplace to trade in bamboo goods. More women and youth will therefore have better prospects for personal development, a stable income, social protection, and safe working conditions.

CFYE’s grant will enable us to expedite our operations and boost women’s entrepreneurship at the last mile. This will ultimately lead to more created jobs and improved working conditions by developing transferable digital, financial, and soft skills matched to the services common to market-driven, dynamic retailers and shopkeepers.