The AEEP Roadshow March 21, 2015

The AEEP Investor Roadshow

On the 21st of March 2015, the AEEP Investor Roadshow took placeat Monarch Hotel in Addis Abeba. Approximately 50 participants from 23 Organizations joined the event.

The roadshow has been a new approach to link innovative business ideas to potential investors. The AEEP Investor Roadshow was the conclusion of a 5 months entrepreneurship training of students from Arba Minch University within the pilot phase of a joint education project of Arba Minch University of Ethiopia and Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences ofGermany, called “Applied Entrepreneurship Education Programme” (AEEP). The AEEP Project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany and carried out by DAAD within the program “Industry Partnerships 2013”.

The goal of the AEEP project is to develop and implement a new kind of entrepreneurship education for Arba Minch University and to draw general results for entrepreneurship education methods in Ethiopia.

During the education,students developed their own micro business concept, developed technical prototypes by themselves for it and implemented it in reality together with overtaking micro entrepreneurs. For example a mobile solar system has been developed and implemented which charges mobile phones in rural areas by moving from market to market. After the micro business development, the students continued to developideas for bigger businesses for which they have searched investors at the AEEP Roadshow.  

The students presented their business ideas and its corresponding realization concepts at the roadshow. Afterwards they discussed the financial needs and business perspectives with interested investors and supporting organizations. Beside the students of the AEEP Project, business ideas from the entrepreneurship initiatives from iceaddis and AIESEC could present their business ideas there.

The roadshow started with welcome speeches of the main stakeholders of the AEEP project DAAD, Arba Minch University and Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences and an introduction about the AEEP Project and the AEEP Investor Roadshow conducted by the AEEP project manager Phillip Travers. Beside the AEEP Entrepreneurship approach also iceaddis and AIESEC presented their approaches. Afterwards the students presented their start-up concepts and discussed with organizations and investors about it.The roadshow concluded with an expert panel discussion about entrepreneurship development in Ethiopia and the potential ways to encourage it further.

Especially, the AEEP Businesses Solar Wagon Factory and CNC Factory arouse lots of attention, yet, also a one dollar eye glass factory from AIESEC’s businesses. The Solar Wagon factory targets to produce and sell wagons which can be sold to people who want to make money by moving around in un-electrified rural areas and offering electricity driven services such as mobile charging, photography or others. The CNC Factory targets to produce and sell CNC machines cheaply with which you can treat wood computer controlled with high precision on three dimensions so that the machines can be sold to people who want to produce and sell wooden sculptures, souvenirs, toys or similar in a standardized and efficient way. Both start-ups groups get invited to several follow-up meetings from different organizations and we are looking forward to see the businesses get realized.

Beside participants of the roadshow hosts Arba Minch University and the Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences participants of 21 organizations took the chance to join the roadshow. Participants have come from German and Ethiopian governmental organizations, Universities, NGO’s, from private companies and  individual investors participated. Special highlights have been the participation of the first secretary for economic and cultural affairs of the German Embassy, of Mulu Salomon the former president of the Ethiopian and Pan-African chamber of commerce and Chairman of Entrepreneurship of Addis Abeba University, of Nigest Haile, the Founder and CEO of the Center for African Woman Economic Empowerment (CAWEE) and EtalemEngeda, the Managing Director of the Ethiopian Entrepreneurship Development Center (EDC).

Further participants came from GIZ, the Ministry of Education, the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectorial Associations, Ernst & Young, World Vision and from much more.

Participants looking happily forward to join such a roadshow next year again and potentially such kind of events could develop to an interesting way of market linkage for Entrepreneurial Finance in Ethiopia.