CAWEE Background

The Center for African Women Economic Empowerment (CAWEE) was established in 2004, registered under the Ministry of Justice, as a non-profit, non- governmental organization. Starting 2014, CAWEE changing its name to Center for Accelerated Women's Economic Empowerment (CAWEE) was registered as a membership organization, licensed under the Ethiopian Ministry of Trade.


Promote Ethiopian women entrepreneurs, with a special focus to women exporters, both existing and potential/emerging exporters.
Build the capacity of women entrepreneurs through training, advisory services/business counselling, product development, mentoring, information sharing, etc.
Facilitate market linkages for women entrepreneurs by creating cooperation and collaboration with international institutions
Undertake practical researches to address the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs


The vision of CAWEE is to create globally competitive core women entrepreneurs class in Ethiopia.

The membership of CAWEE targets the following five sectors

Agribusiness ( coffee and honey),
Textiles/Garment/Hand-weaving/Hand-made Shoe,
Leather (with a focus to fashion accessories and give away items),
Gemstones and Jewelry
Services (Tourism, Export Management, Training, IT Services…).
The Center's other focus activity targets working on value-chains through the provision of technical skills/marketable skills to grassroots women (the poorest of the poor) and connect them to markets through women owned and managed Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), existing and emerging/potential exporting companies, where in this respect the Center works on value-chains of different sectors with the ultimate purpose of empowering the supply capacity of the exporting SME companies.
Hand spinning
Hand weaving
Embroidery/ crochet/ knitting
Fabric Dyeing
Roasted/ Green Coffee
Ethiopian honey
Home furnishing/ Basketry/ Carpet... etc
Parallel to the provision of marketable technical skills, CAWEE works in connecting those trained women and young girls to high end markets, both domestic and export markets through existing and potential/ emerging women exporters and other marketing channels, i.e. from grassroots to high end stores.
In working on those value-chains, working on the business model of connecting the trained grassroots' women to women in export operating SMEs, where one sector is feeding/supplying the other, CAWEE has proved such business model is working and is ready for replication to bring out multiplier effects.

Following CAWEE’s membership in the five focus sectors, the Center’s Board is structured in representing members in the respective sectors.
Thus, the five CAWEE Board members represent in the Board their respective sectors.
Arsema Yigrem
Board Chairperson
Arsema Yigrem is managing partner of Brand Travel Services Plc. & Event, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She holds degree in Management, Diploma in Business Administration & ... Read more
Dehab Mesfin
Deputy Board Chairperson
Dehab Mesfin is the Owner and Manager of Diamond Coffee Enterprise. Dehab is a dedicated woman entrepreneur, who believes in working together for a ... Read more
Sara Mohammed
Board Member

Sara Mohammed is the Owner of Next Fashion Design College, the first private fashion school in Ethiopia and Owner of Sara Garment. Sara was a former model that lived in ... Read more
Asegedech WoldeMariam
Board Member
As a successful former Macroeconomist at the IMF, Washington D.C., U.S Asegedech (Assi) WoldeMariam has had over 30 years experience in the financial and economic ... Read more
Meron Seid
Board Member
Meron Seid is the Owner and Creative Director of MERON ADDIS ABABA. MERON ADDIS ABABA is a company engaged in the manufacturing and sales of high-quality and fashionable ... Read more