My name is Mussie Gebremedhn. I am 41 years old and completed my training with Alchemy World, the Bright Futures course and New Venture Creation in 2010.
Today my profession is a little mixed. For 3,5 years I have been an attorney (private lawyer) and I will get my 1st degree (Bsc.) in law in the summer of 2014. But I also own a coffee and pastry shop. And in addition I have a shop that sells building materials.
So I consider myself to be a business entrepreneur. My businesses are successful, especially the coffee shop. And now my wife is exercising to run the business. I have pushed her to get a diploma in accounting and now she is continuing to degree level. So she is better at accounting than me.
The building materials shop is OK but it needs huge investment to be able to provide all kinds of building materials. And the house that I rented for that shop has been sold to a big industry so now I have to find a different place. It is time for change.
The most important thing I have learned from Alchemy World is the importance of growing my business. The mindset in Ethiopia is mostly thinking inside the box: you open a business, you get an amount of money and you are satisfied. There is no ambition.
But the Alchemy World training taught me that through differentiation and through good management you could grow and develop your business in new ways. And I have learned how to be visionary. The number things I can do have increased and now there are no limits. I have a lot more self-confidence; I can travel to different countries in Europe and Asia and import materials; I have learned the importance of saving up money and investing in the business, how to handle customers and how to make the business sustainable.
All this knowledge I am using in my business today. My knowledge, my self-confidence and my vision help me in the changes I am currently making for my business. For I want to change the building materials business; I am looking into ways of changing it into to a construction company.
The service sector has helped me build up the assets that I need. I am finishing building my residence house soon and by using the house as collateral I get access to the finances that I need to invest in the building materials shop. So from my coffee and pastry shop I can take the leap into the construction industry.
And this is an important step. For the service sector can collapse any time. There are too many service shops, coffee shops and bars. The market is oversaturated. And the production industry is the real backbone of the economy and is encouraged by the government.
Now I have the confidence to make the transactions that I need and I am ready to run an ethical business based on healthy and sustainable principles. So in 5-10 years time I will have changed my business focus from service to industrial production, producing inside Ethiopia. I will invest in a production that can generate cash, which in turn I can reinvest in the business and grow it further.
My legal studies also help me in my business. It is very necessary to know the law in order to maneuver legally. And this is very important to me.
Sometimes I am worried about my city. The service sector is booming. But there are already too many bars and too little production. The culture in Mekele should be changed. People need to learn to think differently. So getting the training that Alchemy World provides is very good – it is beneficent for the individual and it is beneficent for the city. And I appreciate very much getting such kind of training.
Mussie (Moses) Gebremedhn, Tel 0914700917 firstname.lastname@example.org