About Project: Dereja established itself as a social enterprise business unit of, with the aim of providing implementable solutions for high young people unemployment in Ethiopia by bridging the gap between supply and demand, in light of this issue the company has organized several Career Expos throughout the years with the strong partnership of the Mastercard Foundation. Through its experience of working with the young women and men, Dereja had trained close to 25,000 graduates on employability skills training, organized 12 Regional Career Expos and the 1st National Career Expo in 2018 and the 2nd annual Career Expo in 2019 that had secured an employment opportunity for over 6,000 graduate students in total. In this regard, Dereja is currently working with the Mastercard Foundation using an intervention that is a synergy of three programs that directly aligns with the project of Mastercard Foundation- Young Africa Works vision. Within this partnership, Dereja aims to scale up, impact and reach as many university graduates as possible to produce a ready workforce that meets the demand.

2). (Digital portal) – an aggressive online strategy to link students to employment information. It will provide easy access for young people to connect and network with employers through technology they are familiar with and that they use in their daily lives. Through this digital platform, employers have access to the high caliber and competent graduates (which is one of the main challenges that employers have disclosed in finding good employees). The Digital portal website is a friendly platform that provides students access to a listing of jobs and internships, career advice, learning of contents and job readiness as well as employers profile.

Target beneficiaries of the program – Direct beneficiaries of the program are graduating class students. The program recruits’ students from all backgrounds (rural, urban and low economic and gives high priority to women). From the pilot program even though it was launched only in Addis Ababa; 56% Female, 45 % Male, 70 % Urban, 30 % Rural and 2% Students with disabilities and low economic background were the participants. With the partnership with Mastercard Foundation Dereja aims to scale the program in the selected universities every year to impact more graduates become skillful and professional and secure employment. Dereja aims within the Academy program for 10,000 students to find fulfilling and dignified jobs within 5 years as direct placement (Student ratio: 70% female, 10% of students with disabilities and low economic background).

Expected outcome – The program is expected to reach 10,000 young people within 5 years and place 90 % within the 6 months of there graduation. Every year more employers will be registered with Dereja.

Response to COVID-19 Despite the challenges, COVID-19 has brought to the project and program target, Dereja is currently adopting new ways of working and changing activities virtually by using digital solutions.

  • Dereja conducted a high-level analysis of the Impact of COVID-19 on the labor market in the selected regions. Thus, the target for creating job opportunities to 10,000 fresh graduates out of the 23,000 reach it had previously targeted is subjected to change.

Supported By

The Mastercard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. All people, no matter where their starting point in life, should have an equal chance to succeed. We believe that with access to education, financial services, and skills training, people can have that chance.