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Renew Capital's presence has expanded to 14 African countries. We aim to provide insight into Africa's startup scene, along with the opportunities and challenges it presents through a series of blogs from our in-country teams. If you share our passion for developing entrepreneurship in Africa, we invite you to check out our open roles

My Journey to Renew Capital: Get to Know Samrawit Geremew

By Renew Capital | Wed Feb 28 2024
From travel and tourism to nurturing Ethiopia's entrepreneurial ecosystem
Welcome to the latest feature in our 'Journey to Renew Capital' blog series. In this interview, we get to know Samrawit Geremew, a Senior Project Manager based in Ethiopia, and learn about her journey to Renew Capital. Samrawit was born and raised in Ethiopia and now supports Renew Capital’s entrepreneurial-building projects in her home country. During the interview, we discuss Samrawit's transition from travel to project management and her passion for entrepreneurship development in Ethiopia. We also explore how she is helping to forge a new path for the country through her work.
Could you share with us a bit about your background and how you came to join Renew Capital?
I hold a Master's degree in Marketing Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Information Systems. I started my career in travel and tourism, working with Ethiopian Airlines and BCD Travel Ethiopia. While I loved my work in travel and tourism, a persistent urge drove me to pursue a field where my efforts could directly impact my community. In October 2020, I made a deliberate shift to Renew Capital. The organization's vision deeply resonated with my personal goals, as it aims to shift the global perspective on Africa from one of giving to one of investing.
Time indeed flies when you're making an impact! Could you share any standout moments or stories from your journey with Renew Capital so far?
I've been part of the Renew Capital team for more than three years now. Reflecting on this period, one standout aspect of my journey has been leading and supporting capacity-building projects designed to empower women entrepreneurs and startup founders. These projects support Renew Capital's overarching mission to bolster the private sector and provide robust support for women in business.
My fulfillment comes from the tangible outcomes of our efforts in directly impacting the community. Witnessing the growth and success stories of the participants we've supported has been a rewarding experience, reinforcing my belief in the transformative power of the work we do. It's these moments that make the journey at Renew Capital truly meaningful and inspiring.
How do you manage the balance between consistency and innovation in your role as a senior project manager at Renew Capital? Can you share some insights into your approach? 
Navigating the delicate balance between consistency and innovation is indeed an art, especially in the dynamic market of Ethiopia. In my role as senior project manager, our projects require continuous evaluation and innovation. The landscape demands agility and adaptability to address the evolving needs of startup founders, women entrepreneurs, resource providers and interns.
The key to our approach lies in tailoring training curricula, delivery methods and coaching sessions to suit these dynamic needs while upholding quality and operational efficiency. It's about staying attuned to the ever-changing environment and being responsive to the unique challenges and opportunities that arise. This flexibility ensures that we not only meet but exceed the expectations of our diverse stakeholders in this dynamic and vibrant ecosystem.
How has growing up in Ethiopia shaped your perspective? What are your hopes for the future, especially the aspirations you have for the younger generation in Ethiopia?
Growing up in Ethiopia— a country with ancient civilization, diverse cultures, rich history and beautiful landscapes—has played an immense role in shaping who I am today. At the same time, I encountered a unique set of challenges growing up here primarily limited opportunities and a lack of adequate mentorship. This made it difficult for me, and others like me across the country to navigate their paths effectively and reach their full potential. Entrepreneurship also faced societal skepticism, compounded by insufficient formal education, training and vital infrastructure to nurture budding entrepreneurs. Despite these hurdles, recent positive movements and collaborative efforts by public and private stakeholders have ignited hope for many. 
As someone deeply involved in Ethiopia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem today, my journey reflects not just personal growth but a collective effort to reshape mindsets and foster economic stability through innovative projects. The road ahead holds promise, driven by collaborative endeavors and a shared understanding of the transformative potential inherent in startups and SMEs. My hope is for a future where the entrepreneurial spirit thrives, creating a vibrant landscape for economic growth and prosperity in Ethiopia. 
Renew Capital is an Africa-focused impact investment firm that backs innovative companies with high-growth potential. Renew Capital manages investments made on behalf of the Renew Capital Angels, a global network of angel investors, foundations and family offices who seek financial returns and sustainable social impact. For the latest on investing in Africa, subscribe and follow us at our social links below.

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