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Reach for Change Ethiopia, a social enterprise incubator focused on improving youth and children’s lives, has announced a new EdTech Fellowship in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation. The program aims to accelerate the growth of promising Ethiopian EdTech ventures and bridge the gaps in the country’s education system.  

The fellowship, offering equity-free funding of up to $60,000 per enterprise, targets growth-stage EdTech companies that have already generated revenue and possess proven EdTech solutions.

“We are calling on Innovative EdTech enterprises that enhance inclusive learning in Ethiopia to fuel their growth and scaling efforts,” said Dawit Tilahun, Program lead at Reach for Change.

The program itself is a three-year commitment, supporting a total of 36 EdTech companies (12 per year.) The application for this year’s cohort was officially opened on April 16, 2024.  All applicants will undergo a three-stage selection process, including shortlisting based on the application form, due diligence, and a pitch before a Final Jury.  

According to the call for applications, priority will be given to those tackling challenges in access, quality, inclusivity, skill development, and youth employability. Ideally, these EdTech ventures will develop solutions that not only reach at least 8,000 new users annually but also create jobs.

The 12 selected EdTech Fellows for this year’s cohort will be announced on May 21 and will be supported to scale their impact through one-on-one coaching from specialists, peer learning sessions, investor advisory, access learning courses from Carnegie Mellon University, impactful storytelling, along the equity-free funding.

Dawit emphasized the fellowship’s core objective: “bridging the gaps in education outcomes” highlighted by the Ministry of Education.

Eligibility criteria focus on Ethiopian ownership and a proven EdTech solution. Companies should demonstrate a dedication to improving access to quality education, skill development, and inclusivity, with a particular focus on reaching underserved communities. The program prioritizes solutions with the potential for scaling and adapting to reach a wider user base. Notably, women-owned or led companies are strongly encouraged to apply.

To introduce the fellowship and application process, Reach for Change held an information session at the recent EdTech Ethiopia Community meeting at the end of March. 

“By empowering local innovators, the program aims to bridge educational gaps and shape a more inclusive and effective learning environment for Ethiopian youth.” Dawit Stated.

Over the years, Reach for Change has supported over 1200 social entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions that aim to improve the lives of children and youth in 18 countries across Europe and Africa since its establishment in 2015.

Reach for Change is also the co-founder of Social Enterprise Ethiopia and previously supported social entrepreneurs from Ethiopia such as Yeneta Code, WizKids workshop, Midaco Publishing, and Food Secured Schools Africa (FSSA).

For more information on the program and to apply visit their website: The Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Seeks EdTech Enterprises in Ethiopia – Reach for Change 

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Etenat holds a degree in Journalism and her 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.