Exploring Honey in Ethiopia

Wilson KaoBusiness Lines, Ethiopia, NSELeave a Comment

Nuru Ethiopia Social Enterprises (NESE) is looking forward to an exciting coming few months. After rigorously exploring potential investment areas and gathering input from agriculture experts, development specialists, consultants and entrepreneurs, we are looking forward to the next stage: operationalizing our high-potential business ideas.

Our first pilot will likely be in Ethiopian honey. Due to the country’s diverse flora, Ethiopia enjoys a rich natural supply of many varieties of honey: yellow, amber, and white. Ethiopia is the largest producer of honey in Africa and fourth largest exporter of beeswax in the world. Yet most honey operations are small, and beekeepers lack the capital and capacity to meaningfully grow. Our team has met with several entrepreneurs and are eager to see what can be achieved by partnering to scale specialty, organic honey products for local and global markets.

One of the most critical aspects of NESE’s investment model is partner selection and establishing the right kind of business relationship. We have shared many boona (coffees) with Ethiopian businessmen and visited their field sites, all of which have left us impressed with their knowledge and skills. We are also aware of what is often lacking such as budgeting experience, business planning, and marketing expertise. Thus a key goal for NESE will be to learn and adapt through various partnership models. What will be the most effective and beneficial way of working together that maximizes both parties’ contributions and outcomes?

As the honey pilot progresses, the team will be advancing towards additional business ideas to build out a growing portfolio. Some exciting prospects include water bottling, fruit juicing, and pressing for aromatics and essential oils. Each of these holds high potential for scalability and meeting a robust market demand. After further analysis, we deprioritized some original ideas including poultry and maize.

Finally we are setting a few administrative goals to establish ourselves as a fully operational investor and legal entity in Ethiopia. This includes registering our business, securing our investment license, putting out a call for partnership proposals and recruiting a business manager to oversee day-to-day operations and future portfolio management. Although high-quality talent can be difficult to recruit, we have shortlisted several candidates and look forward to bringing one of them on board.

Wilson KaoExploring Honey in Ethiopia

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