iDE Global
Birkinesh Website Hover


Farmer and Business Owner

“My mother and grandmother couldn’t do what I can do,” said Birkinesh. “They had no plan to build for the future and to send their children to school. But my generation has better opportunities.” Birkinesh is a founding member of a local iDE-sponsored women’s economic group, a collective that meets on a monthly basis to contribute money with the goal of accumulating enough to loan to one another or invest in income-generating activities. Today she owns a thriving business selling injera bread. But five years ago, things were very different. “I knew I could change my life,” said Birkinesh. “But I could not get any capital.” After trying different avenues available to her—like taking a loan at a 100% interest rate—she was still not able to build the life she wanted. She was ready to try something new when she was introduced to iDE and the idea of a savings group. Reflecting on what led to her success, Birkinesh noted with a smile, “I had the confidence to change by working hard.”

What's next for Birkinesh

Birkinesh is self-sufficient but she plans to expand into new areas of income. She said, “There is a significant change in my life and my family. My husband is now working in the government office. I am teaching my children and I plan to continue my own education beyond the 8th grade. I have no problem with food security today.”

Birkinesh holds a 40 Under 40 certificate presented to her by the iDE Ethiopia management team for exemplifying the highest qualities of entrepreneurship: business savvy, courage, community-mindedness, innovation, leadership, and grit. "I am very pleased with iDE for recognizing me and presenting me with a certificate." —Birkinesh Fatuke (Photo by Ephrem Abebe)

Birkinesh in the new

Check out this feature on Birkinesh. We're delighted to see this deserving entrepreneur spotlighted in The Ethiopia Reporter. 

Birkinesh's Details

  • Ethiopia
  • Agriculture
Entrepreneur Impact
  • Production
  • Co-managing Resources
Ecosystem Impact
  • Food & Nutrition Security

Country Profile

  • 173/189

    Human Development Index (HDI) Rank

  • 31%

    Poverty Rate

  • 118 Million People


iDE was started as a radical idea that business is a solution to move people out of poverty. 40 years later, we still don't give things away. We create long term change by powering entrepreneurs to end poverty for their families and communities.

Are you a journalist looking to write a story? Contact us here: