Ethiopia—Enterprise Partners/Private Enterprise Programme Ethiopia (PEPE)

Client: U.K. Department for International Development

Duration: 2013-2020

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Ethiopia

Solutions: Economic Growth

Enterprise Partners is the major component of the U.K. Department for International Development’s Private Enterprise Programme Ethiopia (PEPE). Enterprise Partners is facilitating agro-industrial growth and enabling access to finance. Our work will result in job and income opportunities and increased stability for poor people, particularly women. The planned impact is to create 45,000 jobs (75 percent for women) and increase incomes for 65,000 poor households.

DAI is implementing this work with consortium partners First Consult/Ethiopia, Itad/UK, Enclude/NL, and BCaD. We are utilizing the market systems approach to achieve the impact. Enterprise Partners is identifying key constraints and developing socially and environmentally responsible strategies working with industry actors to introduce new business models. This is leading to a better business enabling environment and investment generation in Ethiopia.

Enterprise Partners works through two major pillars:

  • Agro-Industry: Strengthening market systems in three priority sectors of the Government of Ethiopia—cotton, textile and apparel; leather and livestock; and fruits and vegetables.
  • Access to Finance: Strengthening financial systems for increased financial inclusion of the poor into formal financial systems and enabling investments for small, medium, and large enterprises.

Sample Activities

  • Garments: Improve labour market systems and cotton production to create a sustainable industry with strong backward linkages. Support Government of Ethiopia’s flagship Hawassa Industrial Park, which will create 60,000 jobs in the apparel sector.
  • Leather: Increase finishing capacity of tanneries and produce high-value leather products to increase export.
  • Horticulture: Promote production of high-value crops for export and support the processing industry.
  • Financial Inclusion: Promote digital banking so poor people living in rural Ethiopia have increased access to formal financial services such as savings and loans.
  • SME Finance: Provide technical assistance and finance (World Bank credit line) to banks, microfinance institutions, leasing companies, and the Development Bank of Ethiopia to support small and medium-sized enterprises that are women-owned or contributing to industrial growth.
  • Investments: Promote foreign direct investment and private equity capital investment, especially in priority agro-industrial sectors.

Select Results

  • Launched 50 interventions addressing critical constraints across agro-industrial and finance sectors.
  • Introduced 25 innovations through 158 public and private organizations.
  • Supported the Development Bank of Ethiopia and 12 microfinance institutions with technical assistance that contributed to £50 million in loan disbursements and enabled another £204 million credit line by World Bank to be disbursed by 2020.
  • Generated £43 million of additional investment into the economy.
  • Created more than 30,000 financial accounts.


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