Young Entrepreneurs in Silk and Honey - YESH

Goal: Promote knowledge and technology-based entrepreneurship through training in beekeeping and silk farming for youth employment in Ethiopia.

Implementation period:  December 2015 – November 2020

Honey and silk production enterprises have the potential to provide a wide range of economic benefits to young people through direct sale of honey and silk products, as well as stimulating economic activities along the value chain. This MasterCard Foundation funded project is therefore designed to empower the unemployed Ethiopian youth, through technology based entrepreneurship. This will be achieved by creating an environment in which youth are a thriving part of the economy, have access to financial services, have the tools and resources needed to establish sustainable enterprises and are linked to markets. This approach not only directly benefits the youth participating, but will also create spin-off employment opportunities for local and surrounding communities.

This YESH project recognizes that there is need for removing barriers to employment among youth in Ethiopia; and it is within this context, that it will engage the effective use of beekeeping and silk farming innovations to establish successful enterprises for the youth. In addressing youth’s lack of skills, this project will establish training centres that will impart technology, business and life skills. The application of all these three broad areas of skills by the youth will provide them with opportunities beyond the honey and silk industries.

It is therefore envisioned that this strategy will enable the project in achieving its goal of reducing youth unemployment by providing economic opportunities and enabling establishment of sustainable enterprises, through end-to-end training and skills development and hence enable sustainable economic transformation and realize the potential of youth. YESH project is being implemented in two zones: in East and West Gojjam in the Amhara region, and in Goma Gofa, which is in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples region. The initiative will target 12,500 young people aged between 18 and 24 years, who have completed secondary school.


  • The MasterCard Foundation


Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs, Ethiopia; Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Ethiopia; Federal Cooperative Agency, Ethiopia; Holeta Bee Research Centre, Ethiopia; Amhara Credit and Savings Institution; Omo Microfinance Institution (OMO); Beekeepers association and local community groups.