A panel discusses at the Social Enterprise World Forum 2019, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia

Etenesh Abera

Addis Abeba, October 26, 2019 – The Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) 2019 held for the past week was concluded yesterday October 25th, 2019. The event co-hosted by Social Enterprise Ethiopia and the British Council, was held inside the premises of the United Nations Economic Commision for Africa (UNECA) in Addis Abeba.

Ethiopia was announced as host for this year’s SEWF at the 11th edition held in Edinburgh, Scotland when it became the first developing country to get the chance. 

The event in Addis Abeba was attended by more than 1200 participants from 50 countries with 50% women speakers, a first for the forum. A total of 50% of the speakers were also from Africa with 25% from Ethiopia alone, according to Kibret Abebe, one of the founders of Social Enterprise Ethiopia and its current president. 

The event held throughout the week starting off with a welcome ceremony on Sunday the 20th of October also included a Youth Week, Policy Forum, African Cultural Evening and Education and Academic Symposium held on the sidelines. 

A social enterprise is “an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in financial, social and environmental well-being-this may include maximizing social impact alongside profits for external shareholders”.

It is estimated that there are about 55,000 such social enterprises in Ethiopia according to a British Council research. Among these is Tebita Ambulance, the first private ambulance service founded by Social Enterprise Ethiopia current president Kibret Abebe. 

Other social enterprises highlighted throughout the week include Whiz-Kids Workshop-makers of a popular children’s show called Tsehay Loves Learning, Temsalet Kitchen-a health conscious eatery that provides jobs for disadvantaged women and Teki Paper Bags-an operation that hires deaf people to make paper bags. 

The 13 edition of SEWF in 2020 will be held in Canada by CommonGoodSolutionsAS

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