The Ethiopian honey sector is thriving. In 2011, the ASPIRE programme in which ProFound takes active part, counted 16 honey and beeswax processors. By now, in 2014, we are working with 26 members of the Ethiopian exporters association. Many businessmen and women recognise the opportunities in this sector. ProFound supports these entrepreneurs to develop their businesses by providing essential services: market analysis, analyses of capacities and strategic planning. In June 2014, we delivered services to individual entrepreneurs in a series of face-to-face counselling sessions in Ethiopia.
It became evident from these sessions that, despite the many bottlenecks in the sector, entrepreneurs are optimistic and full of energy. They set ambitious targets, such as exporting organic honey to Europe within 3 years. Moreover, there is a broadly-shared understanding of the importance of honey purity and bulking to attain economies of scale. Finally, the willingness to cooperate and share experiences between entrepreneurs speeds up sector development.
ProFound cooperates intensively with partners in the sector to address some of the bottlenecks for entrepreneurs. For example, ProFound and Enclude cooperate to improve their access to finance, including working capital.