The Women in Agribusiness Leadership Network expands to more than 250 agribusiness and agriculture entrepreneurs across Ethiopia
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, September 8, 2015 – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) today launched the second round of business and leadership training for 120 women participants from the Women in Agribusiness Leadership Network. Through the training, participants will build skills in business planning, management and marketing, while developing leadership skills that will enable growth in their businesses.
Although women in Ethiopia make up nearly half of the agriculture work force, they only represent 20 percent of members of agricultural cooperatives countrywide. As a result, they have less access to resources, financing and land than their male counterparts. Targeting high-potential women leaders in agribusiness sectors, the network will provide members with support and resources needed to better plan and manage their businesses. In addition, members will participate in a mentorship program for further women-led micro and small enterprises to share experience, skills and knowledge about business management.
USAID initially launched the Women in Agribusiness Leadership Network in May of 2014 with 130 participants from the Amhara, Oromia, SNNP and Tigray regions as well as Addis Ababa. In its first year, 90 percent of network members successfully completed the program. The group is currently registering itself with the Government of Ethiopia and building a block of agribusiness leaders watching out for the interests of Ethiopian women, proving there is an urgent demand for women-specific business organizations and support.
“Women in Agribusiness Leadership Network’s rapid growth proves the importance of women’s role in agribusiness in Ethiopia. The network has not only raised the profile of their businesses, but empowers members to innovate business in agriculture,” explained Vanessa Adams, chief of party for USAID’s Agribusiness Market Development activity.
The Agribusiness Market Development activity is Feed the Future’s flagship program in Ethiopia and represents one of USAID’s largest contributions to the Government of Ethiopia‘s Agricultural Growth Program. The $3.5 billion Feed the Future global hunger and food security initiative sustains the U.S. Government´s commitment as one of Ethiopia’s largest partners in developing the agriculture sector.