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  • Reach for Change and IKEA Foundation to support young people in Ethiopia to start green businesses

    The IKEA Foundation is investing 1 million US dollars in Reach for Change to support and develop green entrepreneurship and green jobs in Ethiopia. In total, the project will educate 360 young people in entrepreneurship and support 60 green solutions to develop into sustainable green businesses.

    We have been operating in Ethiopia for the past seven years and see a vast potential for entrepreneurship, and a growing potential for social entrepreneurship. Today more than ever, we are convinced of the need to invest in Ethiopia, to ensure improved livelihoods and rehabilitation so critically needed. In a growing economy like Ethiopia, the climate issue is acute, but there are few green businesses in the private sector. There is a great potential in educating young people in entrepreneurship to improve livelihoods and create a just and green transition. We look forward to continuing our important work with a focus on green businesses and more green jobs together with the IKEA Foundation.

    Sofia Breitholtz, CEO Reach for Change

    Over the next two years, Reach for Change will run two programmes in Ethiopia to support young people to start and grow green businesses. This will cultivate a strong pipeline of new green innovations that also create job opportunities for youth and women. One part of the programme will consist of a bootcamp that will educate 360 University students in entrepreneurship to inspire and generate new green ideas. The second is an innovation lab that will enable 60 young people with established solutions for the climate to get coaching and support in developing their solutions into a sustainable business model. 

    We believe green entrepreneurs are a dynamic force who can help shift economies in the right direction. They have the power to turn environmental challenges into new business opportunities and provide employment for people living in poverty. We’re supporting Reach for Change to harness the power of green entrepreneurship so that young people in Ethiopia can build a sustainable economy, earn a decent income and help protect the planet for future generations.

    Vivek Singh, Head of Employment and Entrepreneurship portfolio from the IKEA Foundation

    Reach for Change and the IKEA Foundation began working together in Ethiopia in 2017.  Since then we have together supported 139 social entrepreneurs to improve children’s health and education, and to protect them from abuse. We have in total reached 630 000 children. This new partnership builds on the expertise and experience of Reach for Change in entrepreneurship development in Ethiopia.