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Entrepreneurial Thinking: Featuring YWCA

Entrepreneurial Thinking:

Featuring YWCA in Ethiopia

March 9, 2023, at 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Hilton Hotel


Members Complimentary
Non-Members 800 ETB

Entrepreneurial Thinking: Featuring YWCA

As March is Women’s Month, AWiB in recognition of this yearly grand cause shares HER platform with women’s organizations in Ethiopia with the intention of bringing out leadership, creativity, and sustainability concepts to model the way.

UN Women’s theme for International Women’s Day 2023 is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”. AWiB, in celebrating March 8, introduces “Entrepreneurial Thinking,” featuring YWCA in Ethiopia as an exemplary leading organization to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges and sustain the blow through innovative visions. YWCA’s sustainability has to do with recreating, rebranding, and using innovative ideas. AWiB sees it fitting for Entrepreneurial thinking to present YWCA to share experiences and dialogue on issues that many associations in our nation find elusive.

YWCA is an international nonprofit organization with a focus on empowerment, leadership, and rights of women, young women, and girls in more than 100 countries, YWCA in Ethiopia being one.  YWCA was established over 150 years ago and played a significant role in the women’s suffrage movement, which made the question of women’s voting rights into an important political issue in the 19th century. YWCA is also one of the first women’s associations in Africa, and there are over 20 national YWCAs serving communities across the continent.

YWCA in Ethiopia was initially formed in 1952 and later ceased operations for 24 years due to the political situation in the country at the time. Thanks to strong and unyielding women, YWCA was re-established in 2000.

Entrepreneurial thinking includes a set of attitudes and behaviors that encapsulate how entrepreneurs tend to think and act. This enables one to identify and capitalize on opportunities, change course when needed, and view mistakes as opportunities for learning and improving. When it comes to gender equity and the measures being taken to achieve it, we encourage reevaluating the efficacy of the methods we are using to approach the problem.

Entrepreneurial thinking is about exploring diversified perspectives to a problem and finding a creative solution to it. Women from all over the globe have been working in different ways to achieve gender equity economically, socially & politically, but with slow progress. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2022 projected that, at the current rate of progress, it will take 132 years to reach gender parity globally.

Considering DigitALL, we feel that YWCA fulfills the innovative visions for digital democracy. The internet penetration in Ethiopia’s population was at 25% in the year 2022, and as YWCA is expanding in the nation, it is also important to be proactive & plan how to increase the internet penetration while ensuring the safety of women and children in the digital space.

Talking points:

1.     What mindset is needed in a community to change the perception of Women and their rightful place in society?
2.     What creative methods can we use to make gradual & subtle changes in the mindsets of the collective?
3.     How does YWCA create an empowering environment?
4.     How do safe spaces & communities enhance the progress toward gender equity?

To enrich the conversation, YWCA shall incorporate their own experience & reflect on the work they do incorporating entrepreneurial thinking and how they plan to move forward, making the impact that is needed for gender parity in our community. 


Emebet Regassa has over 13 Years of experience in Networking & Partnership Management, Consortium Management, and Project & Program Managing. She has worked on projects involving Socio-Economic Empowerment of Women & Youth, Gender Equality & Gender Mainstreaming, Advocacy, Gender-Based Violence, Sexual & Reproductive Health Rights, Youth Engagement/Development, and more. She is currently the Program Manager for Gender Equality, Democracy, and Human Rights at the African Regional Development Co-operation of the Swedish Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Mariamawit Gezahegn is a Gender Specialist and current Project Coordinator at Young Women’s Christian Association Ethiopia. She has two Masters in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and Public Administration & Non-Profit Management and an Undergraduate degree in Psychology. She has tended her professional career in non-profit and non-governmental institutions pursuing gender rights, education access, and climate justice. She has worked with IRC, CARE Ethiopia, along with other human rights-based organizations. Her work with WCA has focused on realizing gender justice nationally.

Yoadan Tilahun is the founder & CEO of Flawless Events, leading with a keen eye for design and detail. Based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Flawless Events organizes summits, corporate events and conferences throughout the African continent. Yoadan is an enthusiastic advocate for professionalizing the MICE industry in East Africa. She is also an active member of the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA). Yoadan serves as the president of the newly established Ethiopian Events &
Exhibition Organizers Association.


Semhal Guesh is the founder and CEO of KABANA design. She is an accomplished architect and passionate about entrepreneurship, community development, and facilitating economic growth with a major focus on women and youth empowerment. Semhal is an expert in transforming strategic plans into initiatives for transformation. Through her company, she was able to create employment opportunities for women and youth in Ethiopia. She is a member of an Investment Committee (IC) for a Mastercard Foundation Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Resilience Facility.