10 Best Small Business Ideas in Ethiopia (2024 Updates)


Ethiopia’s growing economy has opened up many promising business opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovators. In this article, we will look at 10 of the best small business ideas that have great potential in Ethiopia.

Why Ethiopia for Small Business?

Before jumping into the business ideas, let’s look at what makes Ethiopia a lucrative place for small business ventures:

  • Fast growing economy
  • Huge domestic market with 100+ million population
  • Abundant agricultural resources
  • Government support for SMEs
  • Access to continental free trade area
  • Improving infrastructure

10 Small Business Ideas for Ethiopia

1. Agriculture Business

Agriculture is the backbone of Ethiopia’s economy accounting for over 80% of employment. Some promising agribusiness ideas include:

  • Crop farming – cereals, pulses, oilseeds, fruits, vegetables
  • Livestock farming – cattle, poultry, fish
  • Food processing and value addition
  • Export-oriented cash crops like coffee, sesame, spices etc.

2. Manufacturing Business

Ethiopia offers great conditions for manufacturing businesses with availability of raw materials and labor. Some good manufacturing business ideas include:

  • Textiles and garments
  • Leather products
  • Agro-processing – flour, edible oils, beverages etc.
  • Consumer goods – soaps, detergents, plastic products

3. Online and Physical Retail

Rising incomes and demand for consumer goods makes retail a rewarding sector. Ways to tap this include:

  • Online stores and eCommerce websites
  • Supermarkets and convenience stores
  • Specialty retail stores – clothing, electronics etc.

4. Education and Tutoring

There is high demand for quality education and tutoring services. Some options to tap this are:

  • Test preparation and academic tutoring
  • Vocational training institutes
  • Preschools and daycare centers
  • Language and computer training centers

5. Language and Skill Training

With diversity of population, language training is valuable. Skills training also has huge scope in Ethiopia covering:

  • Language training – English, Arabic, French, Chinese etc.
  • Computer and technical skills training
  • Business administration, finance and soft skills training

6. Childcare and Early Education

Increasing participation of women in workforce coupled with busy lifestyles of parents has boosted demand for qualified childcare options like:

  • Daycare centers
  • Preschools
  • Early childhood learning programs
  • Activity classes for kids

7. Cleaning and Laundry Service

Outsourced cleaning and laundry services have become popular in urban areas. Some offerings in this space include:

  • Residential house cleaning
  • Office and commercial cleaning
  • Laundry and dry cleaning services
  • Carpet and upholstery cleaning

8. Solar Energy Installation

With abundant sunlight and focus on renewables, solar power solutions have huge potential like:

  • Solar panel systems installation
  • Solar water heaters supply and fitting
  • Solar street lighting systems
  • Solar power backup systems

9. Tech and IT Services

Ethiopia’s digital transformation has opened up many opportunities in tech service industry including:

  • Custom software development
  • IT support and troubleshooting services
  • Cybersecurity and data protection solutions
  • Tech training programs

10. Transportation and Logistics


Ethiopia’s growing trade volumes and infrastructure development is fueling transportation needs:

  • Courier and delivery services
  • Freight transport and warehousing
  • Cold chain and refrigerated transport
  • Fleet management solutions

Compare Other Business Ideas Useful for Ethiopians


Ethiopia offers exciting and rewarding business opportunities in diverse sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, education, retail, technology, transportation etc. With proper planning and execution, small business ventures have immense potential to succeed in Ethiopia’s fast-growing economy.

The business ideas highlighted above can serve as a good starting point for budding entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on Ethiopia’s prospects.

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