Life as a street vendor may seem hard but it actually pays to be mobile, bringing the market to passers-by who may welcome the convenience. MISAK WORKNEH, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER takes to the street to explore the business of vending, its tribulations and solutions.

Addis Wakes Up to the Business Smell of Coffee

Waking up and smelling the coffee can be taken literally in Ethiopia, the land where it originated. MISAK WORKNEH, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, chats over a cup of Ethiopian coffee and finds that the cultural habit is also extremely good business.

Valentine’s Day: A Pricey Love Affair

Lifestyles are indeed changing and city stores are ablaze as couples spend in readiness for Valentine’s Day. SOLIANA ALEMAYHU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, explores with providers of various gifts and services, the high price of romantic love

Car Wash Business Saves Youth from Street Life

Young men organised in car wash microenterprise initiatives around Addis seem to be doing well. MISGANAW GETACHEW, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER talks with some of them. They are employed, living independently off the streets, and aspire to move into small business.

Graveyard to the Doha Development Round?

The rise of mega regional blocs threatens the relevance of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and this is not good news for poor countries like Ethiopia, argues TAMRAT G. GIORGIS, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER. However, the agreement reached for advanced economies to immediately end agricultural subsidies on agriculture – and in two years for developing countries – is “the most significant outcome.”

Cultural Institutions Give Way to Funeral Business

Collectively meeting the costs of funerals is the main rationale for the traditional Ethiopian Iddir. Modern funeral service providers have not replaced Iddirs but are supported by them in urban environments. MISGANAW GETACHEW, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, explores the business side of saying farewell.

Holiday Bazaars Off to Slow Start

While more than the usual Christmas bazaars have been organised this year, some vendors are struggling to recoup their costs and patrons are not spending as expected. SOLIANA ALEMAYEHU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER visits several bazaars, and hears some of the reasons offered by both sides.

M–Birr for Easy Access to Banking Services

Though M-Birr has not yet significantly impacted the unbanked, particularly in rural areas, SAMRAWIT LEMMA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER finds the combination of microfinance institutions, agent banking and mobile banking technology effective in bringing financial services to people, wherever they are.

There’s Business in Helping Mother Nature

Nutrition is traditionally obtained from food but not all foods contain the full requirements needed to maintain good health. This is where a little boost to nature’s offerings comes in. SAMRAWIT LEMMA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER takes a look at the market for food supplements in Addis Abeba and shares her findings.

Child Vendors’ Survival on the City Streets

Removing children from the streets is a challenge and limited institutional interventions often fail. Yet, there is something pathetic about a seven year old having to fend for himself. He is not alone as SAMRAWIT LEMMA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, finds out in exploring how child street vendors meet their needs.

‘Tis the Season for Christmas Shopping

Christmas in the west is associated with a shopping extravaganza and for Ethiopians who adopt this cultural phenomenon the costs may be more than financial. SAMRAWIT LEMMA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER went out and about talking with retailers and shoppers. The common cry was low sales, which everyone hopes will pick up as Christmas Day draws near. It is also clear that children constitute the Christmas market.

Financing Women in the Missing Middles

Though there may be cracks in the glass ceiling, when it comes to women in business accessing credit, there is still need for the kind of special mechanism that Enat Bank has put in place. SOLIANA ALEMAYEHU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, explores the terms and conditions of the exciting new initiative.

Self-Made Translators

Translation seems to be a thriving business in Addis. One cannot be a good translator just by knowing a language, say experts, but SAMRAWIT LEMMA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, finds that translators doing the job neither had any language training nor have passed through any form of qualification, handling all kinds of translations, purely through trial and error.

Sesame Supply Rises, Market Falls

While other crops impacted by the current drought are failing, this is not the case with sesame, Ethiopia’s second largest export crop. This year production has improved and so has quality. With a glut on the international market, prices are down, and as SOLIANA ALEMAYEHU, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, finds out, Ethiopia is unable to compete.

How Hotels Earn Their Stars

International tourists, or even Ethiopians who may wish to have the experience of staying in a five-star hotel, now have a choice of five hotels in which to do so. Those with lower budgets and less inclination but who still need a starred hotel experience can make a selection down the line to one star. But how exactly were these stars earned and what exactly can a stay or non-stay hotel user expect for the stars? This is the subject explored by MIKIYAS TESFAYE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, reporting (not from a five-star hotel room), but from engagement with the head of the assessment team and some of those awarded. The report dissects the hotel grading process and hopefully adds to the transparency of the process from which the stars were derived.

The Taxing Business of Raising Revenue

Complexities of taxation are well known and so is the importance of revenue raised through taxes. Compliance with the requirements for paying taxes can be a time-consuming nightmare, but there are middlemen who relieve businesses of the stress and make the payments for a commission. DAWIT ENDESHAW, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER and a taxpayer himself, explores what is involved in the payment and collection of taxes, finds out why late payments with penalties are often preferred and how E-tax can ease the procedural burden.


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