Respondents’ Stories Shared by the Field Team: 09 July 2021 – 13 July 2021

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Firm ID ET-942/ Dental Clinic:
She is married and is a mother of two. She graduated from Jimma University, Medical Focality in 2010 and she has started to work in a government hospital, Dill Chora Hospital, Dire Dawa with her profession/Dentist. She opened her own Dental Clinic in 2017 and has been working together with the governmental hospital until now. She is highly interested by her profession and opened privately to serve the society with her field. And, she opened the Dental clinic by renting another person’s license because the Ethiopian rules oblige her to open higher clinic with her educational status which she couldn’t do. Now a days, the business is not profitable but she has a great wish in the longer run that she may earn a profit from it. Most of the clinic income goes to clinic house rent and clients are not available at this time. She has taken a credit of 950,000 ETB from her family to buy clinical assets. All in all, she has reached more than 1.1 million ETB capital. For now, including herself the business encompasses 6 employees. She gets her input supplies from Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa. 
Even though she likes her field of work, she is not much attracted by the overall result and not confident to continue on it. Related to the data gathering from her in the SFD project, she is reluctant to provide detail and sufficient information on each subject matter. Almost all the time, data is collected from receipts and she only provides some information and with much difficulty.
The story we are telling today is about a respondent, ET898;
We can learn a lot from her. She is 39 years old and unmarried and currently working in her own stationary. Our respondent told us that everyone in her family had a positive attitude and skills in business. Their father is a hard worker who has set a good role model for all his children. He has many children, including our respondent, and has been in the business for a long time. Initially, he worked in a large shop in “Merkato”. While working there, the children would stay with him when they returned from school and then return home at night. At that time, they knew a lot about business from an early age. He did all he could to strengthen their education. Alongside this, he made them look at the business world and identify the advantages and disadvantages of everything but when they were old enough, he raised them up to choose what they wanted. All of his children are now in business after graduating from university. Our respondent also decided to work with her father after graduating with a diploma in computer science.They first opened a metal work but were forced to stop because they did not succeed and were not profitable. But then they changed their minds, opened a school, and began working in pairs. But for various reasons, the two could not agree, so she left it to her father to try other jobs. Selling car tires together with importers, phone retailing with someone, were jobs she tried. She only worked for a week in the phone selling shop because she observed some frauds on product’s quality and this action was not comfortable for her. But in the end, she was able to start her current and favorite job with her brother 10 years ago, they started small but now they have expanded it as well as they could. Now she is working alone because her brother got a better job than this and left this job to her three years ago.This does not mean that her family is no longer helping her. In fact, they believe in helping each other in the family. When it comes to raw materials, her father is always by her side because he knows a lot of people in “Merkato”. Also, her brother is still helping her in dealing with some business related things like trade license renewing, kebele process, paying a tax and such things because he has a better experience and he knows the officers. This is how she does her work. In the firm, she is providing services in addition to stationary retails like writing letters for court, writing contract and agreement form for house sellers, printing and photocopying services. Also she is a DHL mailing service agent. In this DHL business she receives items and DHL customers come to her firm to take and she collect the mailing fee and then send to the DHL office. Her profit is a commission from DHL.
As she told us, she has one principle in the business world which is ‘trying is better than ignoring’. This means that at any circumstance,  if there is an idea of starting a new business she believes in just starting it without any hesitation and seeing the output and learning from it. She plans to expand her business in the near future, and has already started working. She had done some researches on how to and what kind of business is feasible. According to her current work, up to 10 people come to write a contract and they sit there for a long time, so she plans to hire a coffee maker and prepare a variety of soft drinks together. These services has two advantages: one is that the customers will enjoy and relax, and the other is that it will attract more customers. Another thing is that she is planning to start printing and advertising services. Based on her research, there is a high demand on the printing service like t-shirt and banner printing. She bought printing machine last week with cost of 32000 ETB. Now she is on the process of getting a trade license, and promotion work. What we think other people should learn from her is that how she created jobs for many youth. There is computer training center near to her firm and she always gives priority for this school students to hire them. After graduating, the outstanding graduates were immediately sent to work with her. This is for two reasons: one, she is helping the training center by increasing its reputation, the other is that she noticed that in our country most graduates are unemployed because they have no work experience. So she is meeting her responsibility by giving chances to them to develop their work skill and experience. She also shared her weak habit that she is not good in managing and tracking her transactions. She is now improving it and she gave recognition to L-IFT and this SFD project. She told us that she is learning how to record every financial transaction and that she is glad for being selected on this project.
ET159 Leather production firm:
The owner of this firm is a very hardworking woman who does not give in to trouble. She was born and raised here in Harar, she is in her forties and has no children. She attended school until the 7th grade, but she learned to do many handicrafts at her family’s shop. She did this job for 25 years and fought for her family, she later decided to leave her family and start her own business, and then she started organizing herself: for instance she went to Turkey for further vocational training. After returning home, she received 50,000 birr from Harar MFI and bought a machine. In 2017G.C., she organized an association: they are 17 members and began their current business. The workplace was provided by the regional government and they make the most beautiful crafts. They also make leather products such as belts, shoes, and bags. However, they have a lot of problems. They sold their products to tourists and visitors to the city but now all this is not happening due to Corona. The other members of the association could not continue because the work was no longer profitable but she loves the job and is struggling to do her best without looking for an alternative. She pays 2500 birr monthly salary for her two employees and there is no income beyond the daily allowance still, she hopes that a better day will come. Now all property in her hand is her own, but not the association’s.
ET632 is a 40 years old entrepreneur who owns an Auto-shop. He opened this auto-shop just before eight months. Before he opened this shop, he was a well paid NGO worker. He had a deep interest to be an entrepreneur and create job for some youth. That is why he left his NGO job and opened up an auto-shop. He said, currently he is getting a comparable income with his former job. However, he is more satisfied with the current job since he creates job opportunities for some youth.  
He has a vision to make his auto-shop one of the best auto-shop in Addis Ababa and wants to provide higher quality service with reasonable price. To make his vision real, he is providing an intensive training for his workers by himself and also by inviting well known mechanics. For the future, he has a plan to give incentives to his workers by sharing some part of his net profit as a bonus. In addition to this, he has a deep interest to build a well organized financial system for the sustainable growth of his business. He believes that “well organized financial system is the back bone of a sustainable business development”. That is why he wants to become part of L-IFT’s research and wants to use Finbit app to record his financial transaction
Today I want to share the story of ET627, who has engaged in the sector of hand craft production (electric “mitad” and stoves production).
He is 36 years old, married and has 1 child. He started this business in 2019. He has a hard worker wife who helps him in the production of electric “mitad”s and stoves. They have two workers but they come there when they are busy with orders. They are not engaged only in production, they also give home to home maintenance and electric installation services. They have a problem of getting raw materials here in Adama city. They are getting production materials from Addis Ababa “Merkato” shops. As they told me this problem has a big impact on their business, it takes time and also exposes them to transport costs. Always, when I go to their production area on a weekly basis, I find them working hard and they are restless since they have many orders to reach their production at the expected time.