Nigest Haile – Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Accelerated Women’s Economic Empowerment (CAWEE)

Nigest is an activist in the promotion of women entrepreneurs, with particular focus to women exporters. She has 23 years experience working in the Ethiopian Ministry of Trade and Industry, at different capacities. In 2004, she founded CAWEE, a pioneer trade promotion organization working in the country, providing promotional and capacity building support service targeting women exporters.

Nigest is actively involved in conducting different kinds of action oriented researches, focusing on women in business and was able to publish a book compiling the findings of five different researches on ‘Challenges Affecting Women in Business’. In the research ‘Strengthening Women-to-Women Business Market Linkages: Lessons from Experience’ which this time is at its dissemination stage, Nigest is leading the research team.

Nigest received award from the Department of State, USA, in recognition of her extraordinary contributions to the development of women-led businesses, she was also selected by The International Alliance for Women (TIAW), Canada, as a TIAW Award Winner for the Year 2012, for all the great works she does to economically empower women. Nigest Haile has also received a Pan-African Award in 2012, by the UN Women and ILO, in recognition of her participation and support of Women’s Entrepreneurship Development in the African continent. She was also the 2015 award winner of the AWiB (Association of Women in Business)Women of Excellence Award in Ethiopia. In September 2017, Nigest received the “Enabler of Vision” award in New York from the Center for Economic and Leadership Development during the International Conference on Gender & Sustainability.

In 2017, Nigest also started serving as Global Ambassador for the Vital Voices, USA mentorship program. Starting April 2017, Nigest serves as the Executive Committee member (Treasurer) of the African Community of Practice (AfCoP).In March 2018, Nigest received the “Women Stop Hunger Award”, in Paris, France. In September 2019, Nigest received Global Woman Leadership Awardin Jabalpur, India and Hamlin Awards in September 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

On behalf of Next Design College we want to congratulate Mrs. Nigest Haile on her well deserved award “Special Recognition Honorary Award: Women Financial Inclusion Award”