Sophia Bekele demonstrates her long-standing commitment to giving back to the community by engaging in different philanthropic activities and social entrepreneurship schemes through targeted support for education, women and youth talent development.
…Finally, Social Entrepreneurship has always been important to me personally, since I started my entrepreneurship, therefore, we have successfully launched an education program for youth and girls now, which we recently consolidated under a DCA Academy, to provide digital opportunities and empowerment.” –Sophia Bekele, Keynote Address, May 2015, Berkeley HASS School of Business, USA
Miss.Africa Digital Seed Fund
In 2015, the Miss.Africa Initiative that Ms. Bekele founded set up an annual Pan African “Miss.Africa Digital Seed Fund” to awards those women and girl initiatives that participate in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields in a competitive call for applications. In February 2016, the inaugural award disbursed a total of Seven Thousand United Stated Dollars (USD 7000) to various initiatives throughout Africa. The seed fund has now been able to scale the program to over nine Countries throughout Africa. For the full program and regular updates, please visit the Miss.Africa Digital website here Miss.Africa. Digital
Sophia Bekele Scholarship Fund
In January 2015, Bekele established the ‘Sophia Bekele Scholarship Fund‘ which provides scholarships and bursaries to students. To commemorate the Diamond Jubilee – 60th Anniversary celebration of the Nazareth School in Addis Ababa, the scholarship fund provided a total of Birr 200,000.00 (Two hundred thousand Ethiopian Birr) in scholarship awards and grants for the benefit of Nazareth School and its students.
The fund was allocated to fund merit-based scholarship awards to support and encourage students that excel in preparatory subjects who wish to pursue academic degrees and careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. The balance sum was availed as a grant to cover the cost of a full-service, interactive Internet Web Site for Nazareth School that was donated by Ms. Sophia Bekele.
“…You need to educate yourself with the tools of the future – ICT and internet to contribute to this fast, evolving and competitive, global landscape. Getting educated in ICT is no longer nerdy, it is trendy.”
—Remarks by Sophia Bekele, for the ITU’s Girl’s ICT day 24 April 2014.
In 2010, under the Yes2DotAfrica Campaign she founded and led since 2007; while traveling to different African countries to campaign and create awareness for the new DotAfrica generic Top-Level Internet Domain Name. Sophia Bekele saw the problem of women and youth marginalization, and set up the Miss.Africa and Generation.Africa as empowerment programs under the charitable trust objectives of DotConnectAfrica organization.
The Miss.Africa Digital Program is a gender-focused initiative targeted mainly at female youth audiences in Africa to increase their personal involvement in early technology use and adoption with a view to improving their digital self-awareness and empowerment, and bridging the economic divide through employment and/or entrepreneurship.
It is envisioned as one of the central pillars of DotConnectAfrica Trust’s corporate social responsibility program, to attract a sizable women and girls demographic of Internet users in Africa in complementary gender development initiatives that improve the lives through digital inclusion.
The Generation.Africa represents a youth focused program launched by DCA to empower a new generation of Internet users in Africa using its generation.africa theme.
It is intended to target different youth audiences and encourage them to be involved in ICT related skills development and discussions that define and increase their common stake-holding in the development and evolution of the Internet and how this affects them.
Rotary Paul Harris Fellow Award
In 2005, Bekele was presented with a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow award for her contributions and support for the works of various International Rotary Clubs, at the Alamo Country Club, in Alamo California.
The Paul Harris Fellow program recognizes individuals who contribute, or who have contributions made in their name, to The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.
The honor was established in 1957 to show appreciation for contributions that support our Annual Fund, PolioPlus, or an approved Foundation grant
Ethiopian CBS and SbCnet Group Soccer Team
Since 2002, in furtherance of her social entrepreneurship goals, Sophia has set up a local community youth development & outreach program, by sponsoring a group of Ethiopian youth soccer team under her various Companies in Addis Ababa, including CBS and SbCnet, after which some of the talented young soccer players graduated to professional clubs in the senior Ethiopian soccer league.