Case story: Women-Led Beekeeping Enterprise

Testament of women’s potential and indispensable role in sustainable development in Ethiopia, and in Africa in general

The More Young Entrepreneurs in Silk and Honey (MOYESH) project is a partnership between the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (, and the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works. The five-year initiative aims to see 100,000 young men and women in Ethiopia secure dignified and fulfilling work along honey and silk value chains. The initiative is implemented through a framework of inclusive development; the ideal that every individual, regardless of their identity, is instrumental in transforming their societies. Thus, one of the goals of the MOYESH project is to enable more women in Ethiopia to enter and thrive in beekeeping. Historically, in Ethiopia, beekeeping has not been considered a female occupation. Moreover, cultural perceptions create difficulties for women to engage in gainful employment, relegating them to traditional domestic roles and duties. This segregation leads to income inequalities and reduced decision making for women in the households. The MOYESH project aims to reverse this trend through a number of strategies. First, the initiative has set itself an explicit target of having 60 percent of the partnering youth as women. Second, the project is employing a number of engendered pathways, including the formation of women-led beekeeping enterprises. As illustrated in this story, these enterprises are enabling women to gain legitimacy as entrepreneurs. They also stand as a testament of women as a symbol of hope, courage and determination, and an integral part of sustainable development.

Tigist Entahun and Lawaye Awoke and, Meselech Workneh and their Friends Beekeeping Enterprise, is a predominantly female beekeeping group. Formed in 2021, the group is located in Shenkurta village in Awi zone, a highly productive agricultural area in Amhara region, Northwest Ethiopia. The enterprise is led by three determined, ambitious and resourceful women: Tigist Tesfahun (chairperson); Lawaye Awoke (secretary); and Meselech Workneh (cashier). Read more