Commercial agricultural enterprises that are so essential to make value chains competitive are largely missing in Ethiopia, particularly across the downstream end of the value chain. A number of challenges have contributed to the absence of sufficient number of agriculture enterprises in Ethiopia, chief among them an under-developed business ecosystem “building blocks” such as access to financial services, talent, reliable input supply, management, sector expertise, and markets. There is thus a need for targeted support to spur the growth of agribusinesses that can address this gap. In many other countries, well-designed and well-financed agribusiness incubators and accelerators have shown the ability to fill such gap through comprehensive business development services and funding for start-ups and growth agro-enterprises.

Based primarily on these learnings, the ATA has established the Ethiopian Agribusiness Accelerator Platform (EAAP) to test and validate the agribusiness incubator and accelerator concept for Ethiopia. The EAAP is a demand-driven, value chain focused business incubator and accelerator that helps high-potential agribusinesses to professionalize and scale. The platform works with both early stage and mature enterprises to engage players across the value chain. In doing so, it identifies and addresses company-specific and systemic challenges, and aims to build a high-quality, sustainable supply chain for partners across the value chain and create a market-driven, business-building model for participant entrepreneurs.

The initial focus for testing the incubator and accelerator models will be the honey and wax value chain given agro-ecological strengths, strong existing demand sinks, high degree of investment attractiveness, strong government support, and other parallel investments that create opportunities for significant leverage. Once the model is tested and proven on the honey and wax value chain, the EAAP will consider leveraging it in other priority value chains. The project preliminarily operates out of Addis Ababa, whilst closely collaborating with regional ATA offices that enhance presence in strategically important honey and beeswax markets.

The EAAP facilitates access to four Core Services: Finance, Markets, Expertise, and Talent across three program tracksIncubation, Acceleration and Ecosystem.

The Incubation track assists early-stage processors in the honey and beeswax industry. These companies are typically small businesses with a sales track record and high potential for growth. The EAAP aims to professionalize incubatees by helping them grow their business via access to business development services, finance and technical trainings, 1-1 mentorship, grants and contract farming design and implementation support.

The Acceleration track works with formalized, relatively mature enterprises with a focus on export markets and a track record of profitable growth. These businesses have had difficulties with continued scaling, typically due to limited access to talent, underutilized supply chains, and the absence of a coherent business strategy.  EAAP aids companies in the Acceleration track to achieve scale by facilitating access to investment capital, designing and implementing a contract farming scheme, hiring key staff and hands-on mentoring that includes designing a growth strategy through a dedicated advisory board of technical and management experts.

The Ecosystem track focuses on supporting three essential components of the honey/wax value chain – input suppliers, packaging companies, and quality testing laboratories – in order to provide a healthy ecosystem for companies in the Incubation and Acceleration tracks.

For more on EAAP please see the EAAP Overview

For more on ATA publications click here

For any queries, please get in touch with us directly using the following details:

Pavlos Troulis

Managing Director-Ethiopian Agribusiness Accelerator Platform