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The British Council, in partnership with Creative Hub Ethiopia, has announced the launch of Creative DNA: Ethiopia 2.0, an incubation program designed to empower early-stage fashion designers and propel them onto the global stage.

The incubation program is for emerging talents in the Ethiopian fashion scene who are at the beginning stages of their professional journeys and cater to their entrepreneurial business development needs.

The 10 selected designers to take part in the Creative DNA Ethiopia project will be part of a mentorship, incubation, and booth camp program and will receive micro-grants, gain access to UK sales opportunities, and become part of a global digital zine.

According to Bezawit Damtew, British Council’s Arts Director, this initiative provides a comprehensive support system, nurturing the talent and entrepreneurial spirit of Ethiopia’s burgeoning fashion scene.

Participants will benefit from a tailored business development program, equipping them with the essential skills and knowledge to navigate the industry and take their ventures to the next level.

“Designers will have the chance to connect with fellow passionate entrepreneurs, forge valuable partnerships, and gain access to a network of industry experts, fostering collaboration and mutual growth,” Bezawit told Shega.

The initiative in the past has provided a platform for emerging Ethiopian designers to showcase their talents and unique perspectives, catapulting them into the spotlight of international recognition. Fashion designers who have been part of Creative DNA 1.0 have also been part of the Inter Africa Trade Forum, Hub of Africa Fashion Week, and the Senegal/Dakar show.

“Furthermore, the program has enabled six of our incubated designers to break barriers and transcend borders, with their creations gracing the prestigious pages of Vogue Italy and the USA,” Bezawit told Shega.

Creative DNA Ethiopia is part of the Sub-Saharan Africa Arts Creative Economy Programme, which supports the creation of new art and fosters partnerships between the creative sectors of the UK and East Africa.

The call for application will be closed on February 29, 2024. Click here to apply.

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Etenat holds a degree in Journalism and a a master's in Public Relations. Previously, she served as a university lecturer and has five years of experience in communications, media, digital marketing, and consulting.