EMPRETEC Ethiopia Business Society (EEBS), a society established in 1996, organized a half day workshop at the UN ECA to mark “The Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW)” for the second time, last November in Ethiopia. GEW is celebrated around the world with activities aimed at promoting the culture of Entrepreneurship. It is an initiative by former British Premier Gordon Brown and Carl Schramm (PhD), a Professor at Syracuse University of USA, who was once named by The Economist Magazine as the “evangelist of entrepreneurship.”

Have you ever gone back in retrospect and looked at how far you have traveled in life? Just think back to the time you were a child and recall what it was like. Think about where you were then. Were you in an urban or rural environment? What did you hope you would achieve in life? What kind of future did you really hope for, if at all? Hopefully if you look at where you are now you can see just how far you have traveled or how different your present reality is from your imagined future.

In the late 1960s and 1970s there was an outflax from the cities: people left for the countryside with hopes of becoming entrepreneurs. Interestingly in 1973 Ethiopia earned more from exports than paid for its imports for the first time in modern history. It looked as if the country had turned its direction and was on the path to prosperity through a new far sighted embryonic entrepreneurial economy. Imagine where Ethiopia would have been today had that trend continued – over the last half century or so.

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