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Mastercard helps Ethiopian small businesses save 1,000 jobs

Mastercard Foundation has injected US$3.2M in 11 small businesses in Ethiopia to help them maintain their 1,060 employees in the face of COVID-19 pandemic.

The Foundation provides the grant under its COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program, according to Alemayehu Konde Koira, Mastercard Foundation Country Head for Ethiopia. Mr. Alemayehu indicated that the primary engagement of the Foundation in Ethiopia and Africa over the past years has been to create jobs.

Meanwhile the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Foundation to include this new program that helps small business from cutting jobs, according to Mr. Alemayehu, who indicated that Mastercard Foundation aims to help creation of 30 million jobs across Africa by 2030. Globally the market disruption caused by the global pandemic at national and international level has been forcing many companies to cut jobs.

Semhal Guesh, Founder of KABANA Leather, one of the 11 small businesses selected to benefit from the US$3.2M grant, says, she was about to shut down the company sending all her 80 employees home. She stated that the fact that 90 percent of KABANA’s market was outside Ethiopia, makes her company badly affected by the outbreak of the pandemic.

The grant from Mastercard will help KABANA and the other ten women-owned small businesses engaged in production of fashion, to start producing personal care equipment such as face masks and the like to keep their employees on their jobs. In collaboration with an Ethiopia technology company, Kifiya Financial Technologies, the grant also provides a marketing platform and support to the 11 small businesses.

Source: New Business Ethiopia

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