RENEW Strategies

North Carolina Impact Angels Visit Ethiopia

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Matthew Davis, CFA
| February 26, 2013


We had an incredible time hosting our North Carolina Impact Angels in Addis two weeks ago! Some members of the group were familiar with Ethiopia before arriving, while for others it was a first-time, eye-opening experience. We spent six days in Addis meeting with a number of businesses and leaders, including: the President of Ethiopia, the Ethiopia Commodities Exchange, presidents and executives from local banks and insurance companies, countless business and development stakeholders, and twelve business owners.

The investors were surprised to see so much development, growth and opportunity in Addis. They noticed signs of a rising middle class, such as private healthcare needs, workout facilities, and hair salons. They were encouraged by the great people they met that want to work and build their country, and the returning Diaspora that see an opportunity to return home.

Our investors were also surprised to hear first-hand the desires of Ethiopians to work and partner with U.S. investors, and the wide range of sectors in which to invest, from manual labor to technology.

As the group was able to speak with more Ethiopian entrepreneurs, they grew more excited about the positive attitude and drive of the management teams they met, the education of the trained workers within the businesses, the signs everywhere pointing to growth in the agriculture, healthcare, energy, and technology sectors, and seeing that many companies are actively looking to move women into leadership roles and working to improve the lives of their employees.

Overall, the North Carolina Impact Angels had a successful and exciting week learning more about Ethiopia and the many opportunities here. We look forward to more groups of Impact Angels coming to Ethiopia as we continue our efforts to implement a new model for impact investing in Africa.

Contact us at renew@renewstrategies.com or follow us on Twitter @RENEWLLC to find out more.