Japan International Cooperation Agency
  • 日本語
  • English
  • Français
  • Espanol
  • Home
  • About JICA
  • News & Features
  • Countries & Regions
  • Our Work
  • Publications
  • Investor Relations

Project NINJA

July 13, 2023

JICA Ethiopia Startup Ecosystem Report


JICA and the Ministry of Innovation and Technology of Ethiopia (MInT) conducted the "JICA Ethiopia Startup Ecosystem Study" as part of JICA's project NINJA (Next Innovation with Japan) [1]. Through this research document, you will have access to the startups and "startup ecosystem," the business environment for startups in Ethiopia. As digital transformation (DX) accelerates worldwide, attention is focusing on new businesses that utilize technology, and investment from Europe and the United States is increasing as they focus on the potential market in Africa. With a population of approximately 112 million, Ethiopia has a market large enough for start-ups to develop their businesses. In addition, in recent years, the country has been transitioning to a digital economy due to improvements in the telecommunications environment and government policies, making it one of the countries with the greatest business potential. Through this text, you can learn more detailed information about the environment.

Please download documents from the followings.


  • [1] Project NINJA (Next Innovation with Japan) was launched in January 2020 as JICA's startup ecosystem building and entrepreneurship support activities to create business innovation in developing countries.

Research objective and background

The primary information on the generally accessible Ethiopian startup ecosystem is limited and partial. As a result, not only JICA and MInT lack information to implement activities to build an ecosystem, but it is also difficult for overseas investors and private companies to obtain sufficient information to consider investing in Ethiopian startups and business collaborations, which is one of the obstacles to the development of the startup ecosystem. Therefore, this survey was conducted to organize information on startups and the startup ecosystem in Ethiopia and to identify characteristics and potential/problems.

Research methodology

The survey was distributed to almost 800 institutions and firms in the Addis Ababa startup ecosystem. From those, survey data was collected from 300 startups and 80 stakeholders. Furthermore, the report included 15 face-to-face interviews with stakeholders to gain more in-depth insights.


1. Startup in Ethiopia and Addis Ababa

The following is a 9-point summary of Ethiopia's attractions and characteristics (For example, Huge Population and Market Size, Improving Business Environment, and Changing Customer Perceptions are the features).

PhotoA. Why Ethiopia? (Page.20)

2. Analysis of Startup

Leading startups in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia are summarized in two levels of sector (Startup Map) and detail within the sector (e.g., Mobile Money/ Payment, Remittance, and Payment Processing and Lending and Saving in Fintech Startups). Detailed information (website) for each startup is also included. Additionally, we analyzed startups in Addis Ababa by various factors (gender by business stage and sector, Job Creation Potential, Business Revenue, Startup Valuation Process, Fund Raising, Business Environment, etc.).

PhotoB. Startup Map (Page.27)


PhotoC. Detail within the sector (e.g., Mobile Money/ Payment, Remittance, and Payment Processing and Lending and Saving in Fintech Startups)
Fintech Startups in Addis Ababa (Page.55)

PhotoD. Startup Business Stage Analysis (Page.29)

3. Analysis of Startup Ecosystem and Stakeholders

Map of the startup ecosystem in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and details of 13 different actors (Startup Ecosystem Builders, Established Investors, Educational Institutions, etc.), and 16 Co-working Spaces in Addis Ababa are summarized. Website details of each actor are also summarized. Knowing the actors in Addis Ababa, the startup capital of Ethiopia, gives you a glimpse of the startup environment in an example African country.

PhotoE. The Startup ecosystem in Addis Ababa (Page.79)


PhotoF. Website details of each actor (Page.95)

PhotoG. 16 Co-working Spaces in Addis Ababa (Page.96)

4. Policy, Regulatory and Government Environment

Using JICA's strength in working with government agencies, we have put together a summary of Ethiopian government policies and regulations.

PhotoH. Policy, Regulatory, and Governance Environment (p.120)

5. A list of 300 Startups in Addis Ababa of Ethiopia

A list of 300 major startups (sectors and websites) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with information on startups supported by JICA and MInT.

PhotoI. Startups selected by MInT and JICA(P.144)

PhotoG. List of 300 Startups in Addis Ababa (P.159)

Related Links


Copyright © Japan International Cooperation Agency