Investor launches entrepreneurship award for five university graduates in Ethiopia

Engineer Behailu Assefa, founder of Terra Global Energy Developers and ASC Engineering Service donated the 1,100,000.00 birr for five University Entrepreneurial Business Development Competition.

The financial award will give opportunity to 25 graduating Engineering and Business graduates in 2017 with aims to support government to cut youth unemployment in Ethiopia.

ASC Engineering Services, an Ethiopian diaspora owned private company involved in engineering and power development in Ethiopia, launches 1.1 million Birr entrepreneurship award for university students.

The Entrepreneurial Business Development Competition project launched at Debre Birhan University on Thursday (January 12, 2017), aimed at supporting government’s ongoing effort to create jobs for the youth. In addition to Debre Birhan the beneficiary universities are, Bahirdar, Hawassa, Arba Minch and Adama. The first round programme will be implemented in these five universities in various parts of Ethiopia to ensure fair representation of students/ beneficiaries from across the country.

The purpose of this programme is to be launching pad for students and graduates in the Ethiopian college/University communities to act on their talent, ideas and energy to produce tomorrow’s leading firms, Engineer Behailu Assefa, founder of ASC Engineering Services stated.

“The year-long competition will award a total of 1.1 million Bir in prizes to outstanding teams of 5 graduating entrepreneurs group, who submitted a business plans that meet the expectation of the organization for a new ventures. Each group of five students will therefore receive 200,000.00 Birr prize,” Engineer Behailu added.

ASC’s participation in this venture is to show that government alone can’t solve the opportunity gap in the country; however the Ethiopian Diaspora in USA, Europe and elsewhere in the world want to share the responsibility to alleviate the shortcomings.

ASC will offer the qualifying contestants to receive a share of the seed money to pursue their business objective of making a product or service that will have an impact to themselves and the local community.

ASC’s aspiring entrepreneurs will be carefully selected by reviewing their ideas into a fully-fledged business plan with promising results and far-reaching impact. The Entrepreneurship Competition is designed so that a student (group) who comes up with a brilliant idea(s) are encouraged and rewarded to be pioneers in this concept of technical and business achievement.

“We don’t just sit and watch the efforts the government is making to reduce youth unemployment. As a citizen and a private sector, we all have a role to contribute in terms of job creation for the youth,” said Engineer BehailuAssefa, founder and CEO of ASC Engineering Services.

World Bank’s 5th Ethiopian Economic Update, Why so idle? Wages and Employment in a Crowded Labor Market, launched at the Sheraton Addis last December, shows that unemployment rate in Ethiopian urban cities range between 17% – 24% while it is around 13% in the cities of neighbouring African countries such as, Kenya and Uganda.

In addition to creating jobs for the youth the program aims to encourage the graduate students to generate business ideas, which will be implemented in their own locality addressing major challenges of the community.

Engineer Behailu Asseffa briefing Debre Birhan University Engineering students about the entrepreneurship award January 12, 2017 – Photo-

“That is why we say our initiative is complementary with the government’s nationwide job creation and employment initiative for the youth. In addition, this initiative has also trickle-down effect other people living in the community where the awardees implement their projects. If someone they know was able to create jobs and change his/her life, they will be inspired that it is also possible for them to do / try something instead of sitting idle or spend their valuable time searching for jobs here and there,” Engineer Behailu said.

The award money is fully covered by the company, which believes that such initiative will open eyes of other companies to follow suit.  Out of the 1.1 million Birr, a group of five graduating students from Debre Birhan University, whose business idea wins, will receive seed money of 300,000.00 Birr as award to start implementing their project. While winners (a group of five graduating students) in the remaining four universities will be awarded 200,000.00 Birr each.

As of March 1, 2017, a group of five graduating students in DebreBirhan University will start submitting their business ideas until the deadline April 15, 2017 and their full proposal by August 10, 2017.

Likewise a group of five graduating students in other universities are also expected to do the same after the award will be launched in their respective universities, where they also get details on the award program.

The orgnizers say interested students can submit application through and for further information they can be reached at