If you want to start a business in Ethiopia, we have put together a thorough list of the most profitable and best small business ideas in Ethiopia and investment opportunities.
Ethiopia’s economy is strengthening with each passing day. This has increased the number of business opportunities in the nation.
Ethiopia’s developing economy has created opportunities in a variety of industries, including agriculture, food processing, information technology, and the service sector. As a result, you have a good chance of succeeding in creating a profitable business in Ethiopia.
There are no more excuses for individuals who wish to transform their life and the lives of their families by starting a business.
Especially today, with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s new policies addressing huge business and opening the way for small to medium merchants, manufacturers, and service sector operators.
Hard effort, determination, and discipline are the only elements required for the typical Ethiopian to increase his income and enjoy the life he or she deserves.
30 Small Scale Business Ideas & Opportunities In Ethiopia
If you’re serious about establishing a business, these are the top 30 greatest small business opportunities to consider.
1. Open a Daycare and Nursery Center
The role of childcare provider necessitates prudence. It brings together experts and instructors to receive and care for children aged 6 months to 13 years.
This business is in great demand in the city, and owing to scarcity, it may be quite competitive.
After intensive and extensive discussions with child specialists and professionals, the childcare business should be formed.
A and E Daycare, for example, was created by Diasporas who have lived the most of their lives in the United States.
The daycare includes a nice playground and a lot of caregivers and teachers. It is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and charges 3000 Birr per month and 32,000 Birr per year for one kid.
2. Open a Restaurant
For decades, the restaurant industry has been a source of millionaires in Ethiopia.
There will always be a demand for restaurants. You may take advantage of this chance and start your own restaurant business in Ethiopia right now.
Restaurants are one of the most profitable businesses to start in Ethiopia and many other parts of the world.
This is primarily due to the insatiable global need for food, which not only makes it a very successful business for construction entrepreneurs, but also one of the best recession proof business ideas to investigate.
3. Assembly of Small Diesel Engines
Diesel generators of all sorts are imported into the nation, and this import will increase as the economy grows and requires more electricity.
Many diesel engine parts are created by specialist manufacturing units and supplied to manufacturing-cum-assembling facilities due to economies of scale.
Given the significance of diesel engines, there is a significant need at the national and regional levels to begin; at the very least, assembling the engines from imported parts and components.
The average yearly import of diesel engines during the previous three years was 7500 units.
The goal of this initiative is to replace imports by building diesel engines at home. The current demand justifies the development of a diesel engine assembly and manufacturing factory.
4. Start an agricultural and food processing business
In Ethiopia, this is a significant industry. Agriculture is critical in Ethiopia, accounting for more than 85 percent of employment.
Crops that may be produced in the nation range from grains to fiber crops and flowers, to tea and coffee plantations, and so on.
Forestry, like fisheries, is an important resource in the nation. Furthermore, commercial processing of agricultural output and raw materials gives a potential for business in Ethiopia.
5. Event Planning and Management
Ethiopia’s expanding economy has a high need for event management services. You may start your event management services by managing various business and social events.
Event management will need you to pay close attention to every element of an event, from the location to the guest list to the décor and cuisine offered.
More clients will come your way after you complete a few successful tasks. The fees charged by the event management business are extremely expensive.
6. Brick Making
Ethiopia has experienced a true growth in the construction of residences, offices, malls, and government buildings, among other things.
However, this boom in the building industry is not restricted to large corporations with vast financial means.
Small and medium-sized enterprises can also benefit greatly from Ethiopia’s building boom.
One automated brick production machine costs around 29,180 ETB or $1,080 USD.
The most significant problem currently impeding brick manufacture in Ethiopia is government access to land and the requirement for a steady supply of water, both of which are required for mass production of brick blocks.
7. Make an investment in the music Industry
There are several methods to get engaged in the music business. The first step is to plan and promote events.
For example, a specific promoter just struck a deal with a beverage business for 3.4 million Birr.
They paid the performing artists between 20,000 and 500,000 dollars, depending on their notoriety, and their net return from the event would be 2-5 times larger than the initial investment.
Making music videos is another fantastic way to become involved in the music industry.
Music videos may be promoted and monetized via platforms such as YouTube and other websites.
The cost of producing a single music video has risen from 60,000 Birr to 150,000 Birr.
8. Open a Football Watching Center
You may start your own football viewing center right now and make a lot of money.
Have you ever considered turning your passion for football into a career? If so, you’ll find a large group of fans eager to assist you.
The opportunity to generate money from men and women who are enthusiastic about football is only a step away. And the step is on flat ground.
The coming together does not stop at the stadium, as thousands of fans congregate to cheer for their favorite teams. This is one of Ethiopia’s most profitable businesses.
9. Hand Pump Fabrication and Assembly
For example, in the Amhara area, there are now approximately 5000 water stations that use hand pumps, with clean water supply coverage of less than 25%.
This implies that the Region still has a long way to go in terms of providing clean water to the Region’s urban and rural populations.
The hand pump market consists of replacing existing hand pumps and installing new hand pumps.
If we estimate that 10% of the existing hand pumps must be replaced and that another 2000 hand pumps are installed across the Region, the yearly demand for hand pumps will be around 2500.
This will make a medium-sized hand pump manufacturing facility a feasible business endeavor.
10. Open a Hair Salon
Barbers have a certain role in our societies since we humans will never go out of style as long as they exist.
They are necessary to make us seem nice, to enhance our face appearance, and to trim down on the hair that, if left unchecked, might make us look like wild animals.
As a result, starting a hair salon is another excellent business opportunity for guys these days.
11. Open an Entertainment Lounge
Ethiopia has a large population of foreigners and foreign employees, particularly in Addis Abeba.
Most of these individuals, as well as locals, would require somewhere to unwind and rest after a long day’s work and on weekends.
You may fulfill the demands of these thrill seekers by opening an entertainment lounge such as a bar, hotel, casino, restaurant, movie, nightclub, and so on.
There are an unlimited amount of options available, so choose one and start your business.
12. Laundry Services
Laundry services are a fantastic business to start since they are in high demand in Ethiopia. You can do your laundry at home if you have enough room.
Otherwise, you’ll have to rent a spot. Laundry machines, driers, and other equipment are required for the laundry business.
You will get more money if you iron the washed garments. Set up your laundry in a residential neighborhood where you may attract customers.
Use brochures, posters, and banners to promote your washing business.
13. Solar Panel Sales and Installation Service
Solar panel prices are at historic lows, and when combined with significant improvements in battery storage technology, Ethiopia has the ingredients for a highly lucrative and profitable business model.
The Ethiopian Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Climate Change (MoWIE), the Ethiopia Standards Agency, and the Ethiopian Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Electricity have prepared a proposal to implement a new standard for residential solar panel imports.
Because of this significant increase in solar panel sales in Ethiopia, low-quality panels, which are frequently imported from China, will begin to disappear from the Ethiopian market.
This creates a chasm between the supply and demand for solar panels.
Any entrepreneurial individual or organization may now capitalize on this scenario by importing solar panels that meet the new criteria.
In addition to the US government’s efforts for Africa, Ethiopians can import them with incentives.
14. Computer Repair and Maintenance
One of the best business out there is computer maintenance.
Because there has been a significant growth in the number of personal computer owners and users, repairing hardware or virus would earn at least 100-800 Birr.
This business is ongoing and allows for collaboration with large corporations. Importing spare parts and hardware is also more cost effective.
15. Open a Grocery Store
Starting a supply shop is a fantastic business to start because of how successful and lucrative it can be.
The business includes having a shop or a place where you stock essential household supplies and products that people use and require on a daily basis.
To earn a profit, the business also buys items in bulk at wholesale rates and sells them to customers at retail prices.
This is a business that does not require a large investment because you will be dealing with basic household items that are not particularly expensive, as opposed to major supermarkets, which cater to a variety of people’s needs as evidenced by the various types of goods purchased and stocked in the supermarket.
16. Start Refills for Ball Point Pens
Students are the primary users of ball point pens and refills. There are around 3.7 million pupils in the Amhara Region alone (2006/2007).
Ball point pens and refills are imported for use by students in the Region and their countrymen in other parts of the nation.
If we estimate that each student uses around 10 ball point pens (with refills) every academic year, the yearly consumption of ball point pens or refills in the Amhara Region is approximately 37 million.
17. Start a Catering Service
Food is an essential component of every gathering. People are finding it increasingly difficult to make exquisite meals on their own as gatherings get more sophisticated than before.
As a result, the need for food caterers at events is growing over time.
So, if both of your hands are capable of producing delectable meals, you might consider starting a catering service business.
18. Start a Soap Manufacturing Business
Soaps unquestionably have a sizable and increasing market. Soaps are chemical-based preparations that are used for bathing or cleaning clothes, dishes, automobiles, and even glass windows.
This sector is still growing, and there is plenty of space for new soap producers to enter and sell their products.
So, if you notice a simple business in the chemical sector that may provide you with a regular income, you can consider starting a soap business.
19. Open a Beauty Salon
Salons are always a successful business concept in any location, but especially in Ethiopia. Start your salon in a suitable area.
Use good beauticians and herbal and organic items that are in high demand. Decorate your salon such that it is both convenient and comfortable for your customers.
Additionally, if you can make it a unisex salon, you will be able to generate more money from your salon business.
20. Launch a Cleaning Service Business
Cleaning Services or Janitorial Contracting Services are becoming increasingly popular in Ethiopia.
This is owing to the large number of offices, particularly in Addis Abeba. The need for cleaning service firms is growing as the number of non-governmental organizations, multinational corporations, and local enterprises grows.
Unlike in other nations, particularly in the developed world, providing cleaning services for furniture, walls, and floors is not prevalent in Ethiopia.
In 2014, Ethiopia has just 48 licensed cleaning service firms. Entrepreneurs should recognize that this business area is very profitable due to its low input costs and Ethiopia’s relatively easy access to human resources.
For instance, the proprietor of Clean Way Plc. is an Ethiopian Diaspora from the United States who founded his firm in Ethiopia at a period when cleaning services were almost non-existent.
The firm provides cleaning services for buildings, carpets, homes, couches, and automobiles.
Today, the firm employs around 100 people, with wages ranging from 1,500 ETB (55 USD) to 2,500 ETB (93 USD), and it has several contracts from both the public and private sectors. Other cleaning providers pay staff between 550 ETB (20 USD) and 800 ETB (30 USD).
21. Open a Bakery Store
Here are a few instances of bakery enterprises that have turned a profit.
Enrico Pastry was established in 1954. This bakery is believed to make 4000-9000 cakes every day. Mulmul Bakery, which recently opened, is another example.
It only utilized one quintal of flour per day when it first opened, but it currently has six locations around the city and 320 workers.
It offers 104 different sorts of goods. Other businesses such as Caravan Cake and the well-known Shoa Bakery, demonstrate that the bakery and pastry business is both profitable and easily expanding.
22. Start a Hotel business
Another profitable business that is now thriving in Ethiopia is the hotel business. This post will explain how to start a hotel business in Ethiopia.
There is real money in the hotel and hospitality sector, and you can get a piece of it right now.
For a tiny start, your hotel does not need to be large; instead, it may be as simple as a compact lodge, a beer parlor, and a small restaurant.
Ethiopians are big spenders when it comes to entertainment and the good life, and the hotel business is one way to capitalize on it.
23. Make Egg Trays Out of Waste Paper
Poultry raising is a major source of revenue in the rural economy’s mixed farming system.
It is typical to observe ladies bringing eggs to be sold in the little metropolitan areas that dot the countryside.
However, because there are no handy home products for properly keeping eggs, eggs are cracked before being brought to market locations.
Many rural families will lose income as a result of this. Poultry raising is also performed in regional metropolitan centers, and a lack of a suitable egg container is a concern in urban settings.
24. Open a Car Wash
Cars get dirty on a regular basis, but most people do not have the time to wash them.
Offering a professional car cleaning and washing service is a proven method to earn a consistent and consistent income in the country.
For a successful start-up, this business requires an open area and the proper equipment. If you want to start on a large scale, you may also hire lads to help you with the washing.
It is not extremely costly to start up.
25. Open a Driving School
More Ethiopians are getting interested in learning to drive and obtaining a driver’s license.
As a result, starting a driving school is an excellent business idea for you. Take extra care to choose competent trainers who will successfully instruct your school’s students to become efficient drivers.
Follow the restrictions that apply to your driving school. Obtain the permissions and licenses required to start and effectively operate a driving school.
26. Open a Mobile Phone Repair Shop
Mobile phone repair is a big business not only in Ethiopia, but all around the world. According to one study done in the United Kingdom, consumers have spent over 1,000,000,000 Pounds in the last three years alone.
In the same time period, about one in every five individuals cracked their screens by dropping them, and despite this, a staggering 77 percent of them had no insurance for their mobile phones, and only roughly 56 percent cover their mobile phones with protective/hard cases.
Consider how the rise of smart phone users in Ethiopia will create a massive and highly valuable business opportunity.
This business may be started as a small to medium-sized enterprise or invested in to become a huge, contemporary franchise with a well-known brand name.
27. Internet and Cyber Café Business
Browsing has become a near-daily habit for most of us, whether for business, enjoyment, or research and education.
Hundreds of millions of hours are spent everyday by people who have personal internet access devices, and another hundreds of millions of hours are spent at Cyber Cafés by those who do not have their own laptop and internet connection.
Until recently, running an internet café was a hugely capital-intensive business.
Before you can talk about paying for bandwidth, you’ll need to invest in high-speed broadband, purchase massive equipment, conduct computer networking, and server management.
28. Garbage Collection and Waste Management
Ethiopia’s garbage collection services are inefficient. Private people and nonprofit organizations can now provide this service.
Residential waste can be collected and disposed of. This may be done for them at a set monthly fee. T
here are hundreds of houses in Addis Abeba and other places in Ethiopia where you may collect trash and assist residents in properly disposing of it.
The issue of appropriate trash disposal is a major one in the country, and you may convert it into a revenue generator for yourself.
29. Start a Real Estate Business
In Ethiopia, the real estate industry is looming big. As a consequence, you may expand your real estate business idea in a variety of ways.
To begin, you might work as a contractor to build real estate. Second, acquire flats or apartments, then refurbish and furnish them before renting them out.
Third, start your real estate business as an agent, where you will manage communication between buyers and sellers and earn a commission.
Your profit margin will be significant regardless of the specialty you select for your real estate business.
Foreigners who want to invest in Ethiopia might consider launching a real estate business.
30. Start a Business Consultancy Services
The Consultancy Services industry in Ethiopia is indeed diverse, encompassing a wide range of services such as strategy consulting, management consulting, technology consulting, human resource consulting, marketing consulting, tax consulting, training consulting, agriculture consulting, finance consulting, and much more.
Consulting firms are engaged or contracted to provide solutions to challenges that businesses confront.
To become a consultant in Ethiopia, you must have strong coaching abilities, knowledge of technology implementation, good process analysis, strategy creation skills, and/or the capacity to enhance operational processes.
There are many bright and personable people in Ethiopia who can provide this service, and when you combine this with the many organizations that need people who know how to navigate Ethiopia’s often hectic business environment, you have the makings of a hugely successful business with a very low startup cost.
International consulting firms are highly costly, leaving more opportunity for Ethiopian consulting firms to fill the void at cheap costs for Ethiopian businesses.
These are the top 30 business ideas and opportunities in Ethiopia that are both profitable and available to you.
Starting a business in Ethiopia is both a smart and profitable concept. It is one of the fastest-growing economies, with agricultural, manufacturing, information technology, and industrial output, as well as auxiliary business ideas, becoming successful and profitable.
Ethiopia has several opportunities for you to start your own business. However, keep in mind that adequate preparation and effort are required to establish a profitable business.