LIWAY program participants sorting recyclables, promoting environmental sustainability in Ethiopia

The Ethiopia LIWAY program is a nine-year initiative implemented by TechnoServe alongside a consortium of partners. The program is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN). It is working to create a more sustainable and inclusive job market for women and the youth.


In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital and home to 5.2 million people, 24% of women and 21% of young people are unemployed. The rise in the number of unemployed and vulnerable people has outpaced the economy’s capacity to create high-quality jobs, leaving many without an opportunity to contribute to the nation’s economy and get out of poverty. 

Companies that could create jobs need more finance and face employees with limited technical education or skills.


By creating a more sustainable and inclusive job market and economy for women and the youth, the LIWAY program seeks to increase the wage and self-employment opportunities available. LIWAY is supporting industries like recycling plants, eCommerce platforms, construction, processing, and manufacturing that could grow and generate jobs for unskilled or semi-skilled women and youth.

The Strategy 

The LIWAY program uses a Market Systems Development approach and has four areas of implementation carried out by four partners:

  1. Improving the labor system by facilitating access to better-paying wage employment
  2. Reducing barriers to business entry and growth and stimulating innovation for Micro & Small Enterprises (MSE)
  3. Creating more and higher paying jobs through the growth and development of medium and large manufacturers (MLE)
  4. Improving skills development to unlock wage and self-employment opportunities

TechnoServe is leading the third area by creating more and higher-paying jobs through the growth of medium and large-scale manufacturing companies. TechnoServe’s activities include:

  • Boosting the production capacity through lean production management 
  • Supporting marketing to increase sales by connecting with digital marketing platforms
  • Connecting firms with local supply chains to alleviate input shortages 
  • Strengthening the HR Performance Management Systems of Growth Sector firms
  • Training staff in skills such as performance management and Human Resources.

Anticipated results of the LIWAY program

The Ethiopia LIWAY program seeks to increase the incomes of 257,000 people (50% women and 75% young adults) and integrate them into the economy as employees or entrepreneurs. 

Implementing the Medium and Large Enterprise (MLE) Development System aims to: 

  • Create 49,000 jobs for women and youth. Other consortium partners will create the balance.
  • Support 58 Ethiopian companies to improve their business practices.
  • Support systemic change in at least three market systems that can produce jobs and generate opportunities for youth and women.


Donors: Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN)

Implementing partners: Mercy Corps, Save the Children International, and SNV Netherlands Development Organization.