Summer Internship Opportunity – Storytelling and Social Impact Startup in Africa

This internship is a unique opportunity for MBA and graduate students to work on a partnership between Zeleman, an emerging market communication and social impact studio and SmartPhilm, a storytelling tech startup that is using stories to drive social impact in Africa. The internship will involve working on a variety of projects related to the startup’s mission, including conducting research, developing marketing and outreach strategies, and helping to create and promote compelling stories that drive social change.  With the partnership between Zeleman and SmartPhilm, we are: 


  • Community Obsessed: Our work products shape the hearts and minds of the world, and we are obsessed with delivering value to our community of content makers as we build the ecosystems that unleash their potential to change the world.  
  • Unconventional: We stretch the limits of imagination, bringing storytelling to places and dimensions where it has never been before. 
  • Collaborative: We believe storytelling is a team and collaborative sport. We strive to put our best foot forward together with our community.  
  • Get stuff done: We execute at a high level, even in complex circumstances and with tight seasonal deadlines, with the goal of building a sustainable and profitable enterprise


Duties and Responsibilities:


We are looking for awesome interns/graduates for the summer. Selected candidates will travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  They will be able to experience what it takes to rapidly grow an impact-driven storytelling startup in emerging markets.  


  • Conduct research on topics related to the startup’s mission
  • Prepare grant and other funding proposals for social impact projects
  • Develop marketing and outreach strategies to promote the startup’s work
  • Help create and promote compelling campaigns that drive social change
  • Participate in team meetings and contribute to the overall direction of the startup


Location:  The internship will take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Duration: The internship will run for 8-12 weeks during summer 2023.


MBA or Graduate students who are passionate about storytelling and social impact are encouraged to apply. Candidates should have excellent research and communication skills, and be able to work independently and as part of a team.  Key skills needed are: 


  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with a passion for getting the right message to an audience whatever the channel
  • Ability to translate complex concepts for a general audience
  • Experience producing content for websites and social media programs
  • An ability to work as part of a multinational team to produce outward facing communications that integrate points of view from different disciplines


Desirable (but not required):


  • Experience with grant writing for USAID, EU, UN, Foundations, or other grant making organizations. 
  • Interest in contributing to the development of our commercial products and services, including producing sales support materials such as customer case studies
  • An eye on the global competitive landscape to help differentiate our offerings from key competitors
  • Understanding of the media and emerging technologies landscape in Africa

Application Process:  To apply for this internship, please fill out the enclosed form. Please also include any relevant writing samples. Deadline for applications is on March 15, 2023 at 11:59PM EST.  If you have any questions please contact Michael Mekonnen at We look forward to receiving your application and considering you for this exciting opportunity!

Thank you!


About Zeleman


Zeleman is Ethiopia’s leading full service communications, advertising and production agency. With staff of over 100 homegrown and international professionals the agency pushes the boundaries of creativity to deliver elevated and unforgettable marketing campaigns for local and international clients. 

Zeleman takes pride in being the agency of choice for top international organizations, multinational corporations, and global brands for their communication, social impact, as well as brand needs. It has also won accolades and awards including our latest “The Giraffes” for social impact campaign. Learn more about Zeleman at and follow us at @zeleman.


About SmartPhilm


SmartPhilm is a unique multimedia platform that celebrates short form content produced exclusively with smartphones and other mobile devices. Creative minds no longer need expensive cameras and equipment to bring their stories to life. All one needs is a smartphone that writes a script, shoots video, edits it, sees it on the big or small screen.  We strive to provide a media platform to the global artistic and storytelling community to document and produce their own stories in the most accessible way. 


SmartPhilm also runs OUATUP, the world’s first incubator and accelerator program aimed to democratize filmmaking and storytelling. Inspired by and modeled after a startup accelerator, we are on a mission to discover, accelerate, and showcase the next generation of innovative multimedia content ideas and concepts. To learn more about us, please visit or follow us @smartphilm.