Webinar: E-commerce in Ethiopia – Unleashing the opportunity for MSMEs

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Catch up on our webinar, held in collaboration with FSD Ethiopia, where we explore Ethiopia-specific findings from our latest report and key organisations delivering e-commerce solutions on the ground for MSMEs share their experiences.  

In 2023, in collaboration with the UK Department for Business and Trade, the GSMA conducted a large survey-based research study on the use of e-commerce by 1,500 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across six African markets. These include Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. 

275 MSMEs already using e-commerce were surveyed in Ethiopia. 232 of these were micro-enterprises, 30 were small and 13 medium. The MSMEs operated in the following sectors:  

Figure 1: The percentages of businesses surveyed in Ethiopia by sector 

Businesses that have adopted e-commerce in Ethiopia have benefitted from selling online. Over 94% of surveyed MSMEs reported that online trading had increased their sales, and 78% reported a reduction in the running costs of their businesses. 

Ethiopia is making significant progress in creating an enabling policy environment for e-commerce and has recently introduced an e-trade business license, which is expected to make business operations much easier for MSMEs. Moreover, rapidly growing mobile money subscriptions since non-bank financial institutions were allowed to offer mobile money services in 2020 could facilitate a greater uptake of digital payments, a key enabler of e-commerce. However, with a notably low vehicle/person ratio in the country, a significantly rural population, large distances between communities and poor road infrastructure in numerous areas, logistics and delivery barriers are likely to persist as the biggest challenge to e-commerce for MSMEs in Ethiopia, at least in the short term.  

Given these findings, the question arises: how can we better support Ethiopia’s MSMEs in expanding their use of e-commerce for enhanced business growth and resilience? Find out in our webinar recording.

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