ADDIS ABABA (July 20, 2016) – Reach for Change is launching a competition to find aspiring social entrepreneurs with fresh ideas for how to transform the lives of women and children in Addis Ababa. The organization is looking for smart, brave and passionate people to apply to be part of their Accelerator Program 2016, which will take place in Addis Ababa starting in September. Successful candidates will receive funding, training and intensive support to turn their innovative ideas into reality. Over four months, they will be supported to develop a pilot project where they test and improve their idea, and reach the point where they are investment ready.
Reach for Change launched in Ethiopia in 2015 with the goal of supporting exceptional social entrepreneurs who work to improve the lives of women, youth and children. Reach for Change runs Accelerators and Incubators to bring the ideas of the social entrepreneurs to life through financial support, mentorship, trainings and more. In the Accelerator and Incubator, social entrepreneurs are supported to develop strong social business which positively impact communities and are financially sustainable with the potential to scale nationally and beyond.
Reach for Change ran its first Accelerator Program in Ethiopia in 2015. Twenty Ethiopian social entrepreneurs were selected to enter the program, each developing a pilot project to transform the lives of women, children and youth.
“The quality of ideas we received for last year’s competition was incredibly high,” said Anna Chojnicka, Reach for Change’s Ethiopia Country Manager. Some of the ideas submitted last year included an SMS service to provide expectant mothers with information on how to keep themselves and their unborn babies safe during pregnancy, an intensive support program which gets young mothers off the street and into employment, and affordable infant warmers that can save babies’ lives.
“We can’t wait to see the ideas people will come up with this time, particularly involving digital innovations,” Chojnicka added.
Following last year’s Accelerator Program, many social entrepreneurs went on to secure further investments. Five entrepreneurs were each provided with an additional grant of 400,000ETB by Reach for Change to strengthen their businesses. Another participant, Henok Wendirad, also went on to win the Total Startupper of the year award following the Accelerator, and is now representing Ethiopia on a global stage.
If you would like to be part of the Reach for Change Accelerator Program 2016 visit ethiopia.reachforchange.org/apply for full details on how to apply. The application deadline is Monday 15 August 2016.
About Reach for Change:
Reach for Change is an international non-profit foundation, which supports social entrepreneurs who improve the lives of children. The foundation selects driven entrepreneurs with strong ideas that are likely to have a clear positive impact. Their projects are anchored in the local communities, and Reach for Change supports them in their development through funding and expert coaching on all aspects of business development. Today in Africa alone, Reach for Change supports a total of 48 social entrepreneurs. As a result, overall Reach for Change is helping local communities and entrepreneurs improve the lives of over one million children worldwide. Read more about Reach for Change in Africa here.