An improving economy in Ethiopia has given many youth hope that the next decade will be one of increased prosperity. Helping these young people find productive, income-generating opportunities will be essential to the country’s long-term economic success.

Promoting Opportunities through Training, Education, Transition Investment and Livelihood for Youth (POTENTIAL) is a five-year USAID-funded project that promotes opportunities for young Ethiopians to positively contribute to the betterment of society. With POTENTIAL, EDC is helping local partners address the full spectrum of economic development, from supporting unemployed and underemployed youths to improving the quality and relevance of local workforce development trainings.

Key Activities

Through POTENTIAL, EDC and its partner organizations help unemployed and underemployed Ethiopian rural youth, ages 15–29, acquire the skills and knowledge they need to improve their long-term economic self-sufficiency. Specific activities include:

  • Using professional assessments to help training and service providers target curricula and programs to skills needed by employers
  • Providing access to world-class technical and life skills training to create more viable livelihood prospects
  • Offering EDC's work readiness (i.e., soft skills) training and work-based learning opportunities to young people preparing for work
  • Helping to build the long-term capacity of a youth service provider network
  • Bringing together local stakeholders to create systems for sustainable delivery of services nationwide


  • To date, over 27,280 youth have been trained using the Work Ready Now! (WRN) approach in 30 Woredas in 6 regions in five languages.
  • 21,500 youth received after-training support (coaching and mentoring)
  • 56 percent of participants reported better saving habits.
  • WRN!-trained youth reported increased self-confidence and higher work satisfaction.
  • Over 350 community volunteers were recruited and trained on how to be an effective mentor to other youth.

Learn More

U.S. Agency for International Development

Save the Children International/Ethiopia (SCI/Ethiopia); HUNDEE-Oromo Grassroots Development Initiative; Professional Alliance for Development in Ethiopia; Relief Society of Tigray; Facilitator for Change Ethiopia