Announcing the WOE 2023 Organizational Excellence: WISE

AWiB is thrilled to announce the 2023 Organizational Excellence!

This year as AWiB celebrates outstanding Ethiopian Women on the 10th Women of Excellence (WOE), WISE will also be celebrated in the category “Organizational Excellence”. The full research paper of WISE will be published and become available at the Gala Dinner held in Sheraton Addis on October 29, 2023. We invite you to join us at Gala Dinner to get a deeper understanding of WISE’s remarkable achievements.

The story of WISE is that of the emancipation of women through financial independence. It is an exemplary organization that represents excellence. It unveiled the power of a supportive community in creating resilient families. The founder Tsigie Haile was one of the first women to be celebrated for her excellence in the WOE 2012.   

WISE is one of the few organizations in Ethiopia that practices the Social Enterprise model, not only conceptually but also technically & practically. It is the collective work of three independent entities within it; WISE the non-governmental organization under which all were formed, Savings & Credit Cooperatives Union (SACCO Union) which is the umbrella body that provides different services to 100 SACCOs in Addis Ababa and Meleket Training Services, the income generating wing.

Since commencing its operations in 1998, WISE designed and implemented many successful programs, operations and interventions that address the core issues of poverty and dependency among its target members. Among the target members are women street vendors, women with HIV/AIDS, and returnees from Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. Primarily focused on urban poverty, WISE has impacted the lives of over 56,000 families in Addis Ababa through direct interventions and over 46,000 families in Ethiopia through partner organizations.

At the core of all its initiatives and programs there are 3 major components; Organizing, Training & Financing. Organizing is important in magnifying the women’s voices and taking collective actions – through sharing their challenges and stories they find motivation, inspiration and peace which eventually brings out the leaders in them. Organizing is also beneficial when it comes to forging partnerships with organizations that can undertake advocacy on behalf of the target groups and improve their advocacy capacity. Training helps to improve the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of target groups in the areas affecting their businesses and personal lives. This brings lasting changes in their habits and actions. Capital is one of the major challenges many faces when thinking to start or expand businesses—the financing component offers that solution.

The concept of empowerment is a history of social change. WISE achieved that through its holistic look at changing the lives of the women. All the programs take the triple roles of the women into consideration; these roles are productive, reproductive and community. The “ABCD approach” is embedded in all the programs. It represents the concept “Asset Based Community Development” which guides the women to focus on the abundant resources they already possess like skills, environment and gaps they are able to fill.

WISE is built on the idea that both poverty and prosperity are rooted in the mindset. It offers eye-opening programs for its target members through which the idea of poverty is extracted from their minds and replaced with unlimited potential for growth. Find out more about WISE at

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