Ashewa is born out of a strong motive to mobilize resources that the country possesses tremendously. There is no doubt to the assets we have in terms of knowledge, human capital, natural resource and population.
However it doesn’t save majority of the people, who still migrate to foreign lands looking for a better life. Among other things, high rate of Unemployment, under employment and poor working condition fuels the search for an escape route, except it’s not easy. In the migration process particularly to the Middle East, several of our citizens face intolerable risks.
The current statistical data on unemployment showed that 38.9% of the active population is unemployed (i.e. equivalent to 6,864,549 people) (https://www.statsethiopia.gov.et (https://www.statsethiopia.gov.et/)). In fact, Most of the graduate youths are still idle.
However, unemployment is the leading factor for a high rate of migration in Ethiopia; there is more to the whole picture, Such as insufficient income, socio-economic problems, higher living expense, political disguise and poor living condition.
Those who dare to challenge the status quo by starting a business faces the pain of unaffordability. Many interesting start-ups need a minimum of 200,000 ETB initial investments. What makes this more wretched is, even if there is a possibility to obtain such amount, it is difficult to resist fierce competition from those businesses owners who stayed in business for 5 and more years. And it’s exactly here where E-commerce becomes a vital option to absorb into, given the relatively low operational cost and sustainable growth dynamics.
As an e-commerce platform determined to build a digital economy that serves the needs of millions and empowers many, Ashewa realizes that building a strong economy in any country is not possible without the participation of the private sector, because as we know, the private sector is an engine for economic growth. And that’s why Ashewa works towards creating an inclusive environment where all stakeholders are welcomed.
In addition to this e-commerce has a great potential for speedy economic development. For instance, in 2017 Alibaba ranked 22nd in the world in terms of GDP and created job opportunity for over 20 million people around the world.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), SMEs account for 60 to 70 percent of all employment in developing countries and hence contribute to poverty reduction. In recent years, the role of SMEs in economic development has grown in importance in Africa as the continent’s economic transformation gained momentum. In this regard, many countries in Africa have given high priority to the growth of SMEs. Ethiopia, for instance, in its Growth and Transformation Plan has given top priority to micro and small enterprises, targeting to create employment opportunities for more than three million people and aiming to boost access to it.
Similarly, Kenya released a major strategic plan, known as Vision 2030, in which ICTs and SMEs have been identified as major driving forces for its realization. Similarly, many countries are directing their strategic development towards industrialization through the growth of the local SME sector. The results of e-commerce readiness assessments carried out in the Gambia and in Ethiopia under the Economic Commission of Africa (ECA) strengthen this proposition. Both studies suggest that there is a general awareness of the potential in using the Internet for commerce among SMEs.
Despite measures, it’s fair to say that both SMEs and large businesses have benefited from the adoption of e-commerce. In which, the benefits includes lower transaction costs; reduction in advertising and promotion costs; rapid communication between buyers and sellers; ability to reach new customers; shortening the traditional supply chains, minimizing transport obstacles ,reducing delivery costs; and eliminating the physical limitation of time and space. And yes Empirical research shows that small enterprises that adopt e-commerce perform better than those that do not adopt. That’s why we say e-commerce’s has catalytic effect on every business performances.
Taking all experience into account Ashewa is committed to expand job opportunity in Ethiopia, as well as empowering micro and small enterprises. This could be a milestone considering the critical role small and micro enterprises contribute to the economy, despite the fact that they suffer from lack of direct market.
But without the long chain of traditional market and the adoption of direct market it is possible for E-commerce to flourish in Ethiopia or vice-versa.