Ethiopia has demonstrated successive, rapid and strong economic growth in the past decade, with average growth rate of 10% that led to poverty reduction significantly. Building on the successful implementation of the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP), I&II, Ethiopia has developed the Homegrown Economic Reform Programme (HGER), that aims to address structural issues and sustain a rapid and inclusive economic growth setting the country on a path to prosperity.

The "Inclusive and Innovative Finance for Development" project, a pivotal initiative under UNDP Ethiopia, is dedicated to catalyzing economic advancement, job creation, and enhanced productivity through the expansion of financial inclusion and the fostering of innovation. This project is particularly focused on bridging the significant financial gap that impedes small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with special attention to those spearheaded by women and youth—a demographic critical to achieving inclusive economic development and aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Central to this project's execution is the Innovative Finance Lab (IFL), the executing arm responsible for the project's programmatic components. The IFL is strategically positioned to bolster Ethiopia's economic growth trajectory by employing groundbreaking approaches. It is tasked with enhancing capacity building, ensuring financial inclusion, providing technical assistance, and piloting enabling financial mechanisms. These efforts are designed to nurture the growth and prosperity of MSMEs and startups, fortifying them as cornerstones of sustainable economic progress. The IFL is composed of the following key entities:

  • The Technical Assistance Facility (TAF), which is committed to enhancing growth -oriented SME and startup capabilities, ensuring a robust pipeline of projects ready for investment through targeted capacity-building programs.
  • The Enterprise Financing Facility (EFF), a mobilizing platform for innovative financial products and services designed to meet the varied needs of SMEs and startups across different stages of growth.
  • The Knowledge Sharing Unit (KSU), dedicated to fostering a culture of knowledge exchange, policy advocacy, and research, thus paving the way for market-driven innovative finance solutions that support both SMEs and emerging startups.
  • The Regulatory Sandbox Unit (RSU), a structured environment for rigorous testing of innovative financial products and services, which ensures regulatory compliance while encouraging market innovation. This unit is instrumental in setting industry standards and catalyzing financial innovation within the Ethiopian economy.

These components collectively represent the IFL's commitment to driving sustainable growth and economic resilience through strategic financial innovation, inclusivity, and enhanced access to finance for Ethiopia's dynamic business sector.

One of the strategic initiatives in tandem with the interventions is the establishment of an Innovative Finance Lab (IFL), a joint initiative by the UNDP and the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE). The IFL has four pillars, namely, Technical Assistance Facility, Enterprise Financing Facility, the Knowledge Sharing Unit, and the Regulatory Sandbox Unit. With the broader objective to spearhead thought leadership and advocacy for innovative and inclusive finance for sustainable development; the Lab will focus on SMEs development and financing.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Innovative Finance Lab (IFL) Director, the intern will provide support to the team in the following functions:

  • Support the team for the smooth onboarding of SMEs into the TAF program, ensuring all necessary documentation is completed.
  • Communications and correspondence with SMEs, ensuring timely responses and follow-ups.
  • TAF inbox and correspondence with SMEs, responding to inquiries, scheduling meetings, and tracking follow-up actions.
  • Regularly update the TAF team on the status of SME engagements and pipeline development, highlighting any challenges or opportunities for improvement.
  • Gather and manage information on SMEs' financial needs and investment readiness status, maintaining accurate records.
  • Assist in organizing logistics for TAF events, workshops, and meetings, including venue bookings and material preparation.
  • Support the team organizing meetings and appointments to ensure efficient use of time and resources.

Learning Objectives

  • Increase understanding of UNDP’s work and the UN system
  • Gain improved knowledge about innovative finance and capital markets.
  • Gain knowledge and understanding of administrative and operational rules, policies, and regulations of UNDP.
  • Build and develop professional relationships with UNDP colleagues and colleagues from other UN agencies.
  • Work as a team member in a multicultural setting.


Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards.
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to receive / integrate feedback.
  • Works collaboratively with team members by sharing information openly and displaying cultural awareness and sensitivity.
  • Positive and results-oriented attitude.

Technical/Functional Competencies/Skills:

  • Good writing and researching skills.
  • Strong analytical aptitude, communication, and presentation skills
  • Good organizational, time management and strong interpersonal skills

Required Skills and Experience


  • Be enrolled in an economics, management, business administration, international development, international relations, political science, economic development, or other related field of study (advanced  university degree or equivalent)
  • Have graduated with a bachelor degree in an economics, management, business administration, international development, international relations, political science, or economic development equivalent and eligible within one year of graduation.


  • Understanding of private sector and inclusive market development would be beneficial.
  • Work experience is considered as an asset but not required.
  • Computer literate in standard software applications.


  • Verbal and written proficiency in English is required;

Intern requirements:

  • UNDP internship programme does not provide a salary for the internship but provides a monthly Stipend.
  • All the expenses connected with the internship will be borne by the intern, sponsoring Government or institution.
  • Interns must present proof of medical insurance coverage in order to be eligible for the appointment.
  • UNDP accepts no responsibility for costs arising from accidents and/or illness or death incurred during the internship.
  • Interns are not eligible to apply for, or be appointed to, any post in UNDP during the period of the internship.
  • Interns are not staff members and may not represent UNDP in any official capacity.
  • Additional information regarding the UNDP Internship Programme may be obtained at
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups, and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.