iceaddis, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Community hub addressed to young entrepreneurs to work, exchange and get support in their innovative project ideas

Description

iceaddis defines itself as a tech- community. It was created in 2011 when there were no co-working spaces for young talented people who had innovative ideas. They identified that there was a lot of youth unemployment, but, at the same time, there was not even a discussion about entrepreneurship. To tackle the issue, iceaddis said: ‘Let’s create something for those young people’. As a result, it became the first co-working space in the city of Addis Ababa.

Results

  • Organization +200 events for the youth, including networking events and hackathons
  • Development of applications in Amharic and Oromo, the main languages in Ethiopia, in order to support children in reading and writing.
  • Support + 25 start-ups in launching their products and businesses.
  • 1,500 people visit annually Ice Addis community hub.

Did you know?

At an early stage of the project, iceaddis received support from the German cooperation and universities. Today they have a close collaboration with the Addis University.

One of the start-ups supported by Ice Addis won half a million dollar in investment. The project reached a great media impact. 

Sustainability and Replicability

  • The community is not supported by the government, despite the contributions in terms of innovation of the team. iceaddis organizers believe that more dialogue is needed with the government to push for more investment start-ups, young talents and entrepreneurship in general. As a company, besides renting the co-working space to start-ups, iceaddis offers technological consultancy services.
  • The initiative can be replicated in other African cities lacking of a space for young talents to meet and for young people to work in new technologies.
  • iceaddis is part of the icehubs-network, which is an emerging open network enabled by the German development cooperation agency in partnership with various African local organisations. Currently the network consists of iceaddis, icecairo, icealex and icebauhaus. Collaboration between the hubs is facilitated virtually as well as physically. Learning and sharing between hubs is encouraged.

Lessons learned

 Young entrepreneurs often just need a small support to really thrive and succeed. In this respect, technological community hubs are great spaces for young people to connect, share and grow their start-ups.

Take action

There are many small communities worldwide and platforms to work with them. To make our cities more innovative, smarter and more sustainable, we need to cooperate with small initiatives like this one.

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