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.
CAWEE was the implementing organization of the economic empowerment project of the Office of the First Lady of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE): “Connecting 1,500 Women and Young Girls to the Export Market”. Nigest was the Lead Coordinator, where in this project grassroots women were provided marketable skills and were connected to high end domestic as well as export markets.
In facilitating export market, in bring buyers to Ethiopia as well as taking trade missions of women entrepreneurs to different counties, Nigest has played crucial role, where in the past few years, she was able to organize such trade missions to – Canada, USA, China, Mexico, UK, Germany, Turkey, South Africa, Egypt, Rwanda, Kenya, Mongolia, Brazil, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark.
Nigest is one of the promoters and founders of the first women’s commercial bank, named as “ENAT Bank” in Ethiopia and currently serving as the board member of the bank, her third term serving at the Bank Board.