As women are a central strategy of the Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center (ECIC), the ECIC organized the Women Innovators of the Year Award - WIYA 2015 in recognition of the Global Entrepreneurs Week in Ethiopia.The event was organized with the objective of celebrating the efforts of Ethiopian innovative women entrepreneurs, stimulating innovation as well as entrepreneurship and raising awareness on climate change challenges.
WIYA 2015 was colorfully celebrated in the presence of representative of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the World Bank, the competitors, government and non-governmental organizations. Inspirational speeches and presentations on climate change and gender, the World Bank Support to the ECIC and women and innovative businesses were presented. Out of 25 women applicants the selected fourfinalists of the WIAY 2015 pitched about their innovative businesses.
The WIYA 2015 awards were categorized into the following categories.
- First place winner in climate technology business idea. Award of $2,200
- First place winner in non-climate technology business idea. Award of $2,200
- Second place winner in any of the above categories. Award of $1,100
In addition, the WIYA judges recommended the ECIC that the third place business idea deserved to be recognized, thus, recognition was given to the third place winner.
The winners were:
- Tarikayehu Gebreslassie is the first place winner in climate technology business idea. Tarkiayehu works on production of bamboo vinegar solution- used as organic fertilizer, bamboo soap and water purifier from bamboo charcoal.
- Alemtsehai Greiling, the first place winner in non-climate technology business idea, is focused on manufacturing affordable and nutritious food production. She is currently producing breakfast cereals and cereal bars at her kitchen and on the process of establishing a nutritious food product processing plant in Addis Ababa.
- Blen Solomon, who is the second place winner showcased in this award her weaving machine that can be used by the disabled, the blind and other people.
- Rahel Heruy, was recognized as the third place winner as recommended by the judges. Her company produces natural herbal personal care products from sesame and herbs grown in Ethiopia. She grows herbs and spices on farms in Menagesha, Bahir Dar and Bonga.