Ethiopian youth start photo and video company together

Six young people from Ethiopia joined hands and started a photo and video company together. Thanks to training and micro-credit, they managed to start their operations. Two of them, Fikire (29) and Netsanet (21), proudly speak about their own business.

The photo and video shop is located in Dorebafano, a small town near the city Hawassa, in central Ethiopia. At an intersection of a few dirt roads stands their building. On the outside, it is decorated with pictures. Inside is a large counter; on the wall are many more portraits. Through a door we reach the back of the shop, where the photo studio is located.

Behind the counter are Fikire and Netsanet. Together with four more youths, they own this new photo and video shop. After secondary school, all six of them started looking for a job, but – like many other Ethiopian youths – did not find one. Through Dorcas, they encountered each other. ‘We followed a vocational training course run by a Dorcas’ partner and in six months we learned all about photography and making videos,’ says Fikire.

The young people all dreamed of starting their own business as early as high school. The training was a good foundation, but they also needed money to realise their dream. They did not manage to borrow money through family or friends, but thanks to Dorcas they got a start-up loan. Netsanet: ‘This loan allowed us to buy necessary equipment and set up this premises as a photo and video shop.’

The youngsters enthusiastically set to work. Small jobs they print out in their own shop. For larger and high-quality photos, they go to Hawassa. Fikire: ‘We can directly print photos ourselves if people need them. But when we do photo report and need to print those photos, we go to the city to get printed. We don’t yet have the equipment to print very good quality photos.’

The youngsters are already cautiously looking ahead to the future. They dream of developing their business further and expanding it with more equipment. Netsanet is happy with the opportunity she has been given. ‘Alone, I would never have dared to do this. I’m glad we’re doing it together because it makes it much easier. I hope we can expand our business further. There are still so many opportunities for us.’


20 February 2024