Bridging the Gap between Industries and University Graduates
“Youth Business Challenge” is an initiative that was developed by ENTAG (Ethiopia-Netherlands Trade for Agriculture Growth) and AgriProFocus in support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Ethiopia. It seeks to promote youth entrepreneurship and bridge the gap between industries and recent university graduates. On February 25, 2019, 19 university graduates organized in five multidisciplinary teams presented their business plan in front of a panel of judges and project partners at the Netherlands (EKN) embassy compound. The judges selected “Production of vermicompost from potato waste” as the wining concept for Seneselet Food Processing PLC and “Feather meal production from by-product of boiler feather” won the concept for Chico Meat factory. The certification process was done by H.E. the Ambassador of the Netherlands Mr. Bengt van Loosdrecht.
The one of a kind project designed to support recent university graduates develop problem solving mentally through training and technical support was tailored towards waste management problems forwarded by the 2 volunteering Dutch companies in agribusiness (Chico Meat and Senselet Food processing Plc). Following the introduction of the programme the five teams presented the following business plans
(i) “Feather meal production from the by-product of broiler feathers” by the Visionaries
(ii) “Production of Vermicompost from Potato waste” by Potato waste processing group
(iii) “Chicken feather for production of pillows” by The Ants
(Iv) “Production of bioplastic and bioethanol from potato waste
(v) “Fidopica feed: A project on waste management from poultry processing by The Optimizers
For the last two months, the teams received several trainings along with discussions with the companies to develop their solutions on how to add value to waste towards circular economy. Prior to the final decision, the groups were given an opportunity to further explain, potential labor opportunities for women and youth, market opportunities, availability of processing products, bases for final product price estimate and also had the opportunity to show their end products.