The fate of Ethiopia’s startup ecosystem


An insight into the ecosystem for a start up from recent past to present and pointer to what is coming.

In June ,2018 my friend and I sat on local restaurant around Piassa and talked for hours how we could spend the coming summer break in a meaningful way. Since both of us were/are business driven most of our ideas are something new and something in our capacity. I shouted why don’t we sell snacks in a vehicle. Where would we find the snack and pastry products? My friend asks. I don’t know but around noon there is a high potential for it. The coming week’s we talked, did our small-scale research, look for a venture, a rental car and with my friend’s brother help and equal investment we chipped in 3000 birr each from our saving accounts and started our small remote snack retail. We usually stop around 4 kilo-megenanga and mesqel square using a rented Damas and a local snack provider.

For a small startup business, it was an overwhelming response from the target customer, but many more challenges come along every day. From regulation and enforcement bribery to shallow strategic plan on source of snacks. To face and resolve the business license issue we looked at the time who were kicking off a mobile business company, we found out local hair treatment company that were using vehicle. We saw their letter of approval from the local city administration and we follow through. After a bulky process and many postponed schedules, we meet the officer. He told us with a melted that there is no directive for such business and there is no way he could help our request.  After 24 days of work, we were not able to inject money nor shield the counterfeit to the startup, so we halted. This was 4 years ago while I was a student in collage.

 The landscape for startup has been wider and more upbeat before the old rotten challenges. With the social media marketing evolving every day& with the potential customers target aggregating into one social presence so that one could change into sales funnel, the startup rocket seems to grow exponentially on the coming years. AI and the upcoming technologies on internet of things would make things change and evolve more than expected for the business as usual crowed and legislation, so the basic challenge seems to keep up with the changing environment without losing sight into the value of the company.

6 years from now the world around us for sure will crumble and rise on e-commerce, politics and science. our nation startup boat will sure entangle with the network of the big wind of web to the outside which will allow us to start up business not only in local basis, but also into our continent and abroad.

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