Venture Meda

Job Creation through Incubation and Acceleration Support in Ethiopia.


About the program

The Mastercard Foundation in partnership with the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MInT) and iceaddis is launching a five-year project called Venture Meda which is officially entitled ‘Job Creation through Incubation and Acceleration Support in Ethiopia’ to enable 56,160 young women and men experiencing poverty with access to direct jobs including creating 100 e-commerce start-ups (70% of whom are women-led) and 3,240 small businesses as third-party marketplace sellers which can be small farmers, SMEs, retailers, processors, associations, etc. The program will also create additional job opportunities for 77,000 young people indirectly. The project provides seed funding to at least 100 start-ups of which 50% of them are under the early-stage start-ups’ category while the rest are under growth-stage category through deliberate incubation and acceleration programs that ensure growth and the greatest chance of scaling.

The proposed program aims to create a digitally empowered economy accelerated by sustainable enterprise growth that increases youth employment in Ethiopia. This will be achieved through interventions that create the environment for start-ups to flourish, and growth-stage businesses receive support to expand and grow. The program contributes to the achievement of the goals of the Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works in Ethiopia program.

In light of this, Mastercard Foundation in partnership with the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MInT) and iceaddis launched Venture Meda to achieve two major objectives:

  1. Supporting the creation and growth of new e-commerce ventures;
  2. Enabling the growth of existing e-commerce platforms and building the capacity of local actors (such as SMEs) to participate in e-commerce.

Program benefits

  • Market-oriented business development support
  • Technical advisory from industry leaders
  • Networking opportunity with high‑performing startup founders
  • Seed funding and more..

Grant and support

A seed fund will be awarded to all selected startups of the Venture Meda Incubator. The committee may, at its discretion, give honorable mentions and split the prizes. In any event, the awards will be distributed fully with a defined schedule.

A total amount of up to 50,000 USD seed fund will be awarded to up to 10 startups. The award is part of the incubation program support which will include professional business consulting, technical support, and business and market linkage opportunities.

The seed fund shall only be awarded in the form prescribed here and their use will be supervised by the partners. They are non-transferable and non-exchangeable. An award may be subject to withholding tax (if applicable) and/or income tax or other applicable tax which shall be payable by the winner, as applicable. The partners shall not be liable for any taxes which are or become payable on the Award.

An Award may be revoked and a refund is required if the submission infringes the intellectual property rights of a third party or false information

Eligibility criteria

Entry to the Incubator is free and open to teams or companies in Ethiopia with an innovative idea, product, or venture that can solve real-life problems. If the applicants are applying as a team or company, they must fulfill the following requirements at the date of the application:

  • Resident in Ethiopia
  • The minimum age of founders is 18 and the maximum of 35 years old
  • Team of minimum 2 people
  • Pre-revenue
  • In the product development phase

Female entrepreneurs and women-led companies including persons with disabilities, internally displaced people, refugees, etc. are strongly encouraged to take part in the incubation program. Eligibility criteria are not exhaustive and factors relevant to the applicant in question are always taken into account.

Furthermore, we consider the following factors to determine the program benefits young women and men:

  • Select and adopt appropriate technology (technical feasibility);
  • Demonstrate the growth potential of the business with earned revenue stream leading to scale and sustainability;
  • Commit to creating job opportunities through such as third-party marketplaces;
  • Provide a complete and viable business plan (pitch) (i.e. the business plan has a clear objective of solving a problem with a need in the market and potential customers to scale);
  • Demonstrate being financially disadvantaged (i.e. not having income or their main source of income is insufficient to sustain their personal financial commitments);
  • Develop ideas with the potential for solving the identified problem at scale (ensuring growth and scale at the local, national or international level).

By entering the program, the participants agree to the regulations of the Venture Meda Incubation 2022/23 program.
For further information, you can write us at



September 25, 2022
Website Visit website
Targets Ethiopia
Sectors E-commerce