iDE Global
Nigistu Web Hover


Toilet Business Owner

Nigistu Konte is a fearless former farmer living in the Bolososore district of Wolaita, Ethiopia who grew into so much more. Despite owning a quarter-hectare plot of land, life was tough for Nigistu and his family. They struggled to make ends meet by cultivating and selling haricot beans. But Nigistu refused to give up and began working as a day laborer to provide for his family

One fateful day, Nigistu heard about iDE’s work in sanitation and hygiene from the local government and he knew he had to be a part of it. With his stellar communication skills, he quickly became a trainee and eventually a latrine sales agent. He wasted no time and began selling latrines to great success. In a mere seven months, he sold 84 latrine slabs and earned an impressive profit of $88.

Thanks to his hard work and dedication, Nigistu was able to become more financially stable. He bought a cow and can provide his family with essential household items like food and soap with no problem. He is also proud to be playing a crucial role in improving his village’s health and safety. His story is a testament to the success that can be achieved with the right support and attitude.

What's next for Nigistu

Nigistu looks forward to the day he no longer needs to work as a laborer, but is able to rely on his business skills alone to meet his family’s needs.

A variety of latrine shelter styles are on display for community members to react to and provide feedback to the iDE team. By observing, listening to, and engaging with stakeholders we can better understand their needs, constraints, motivations, and aspirations. This insight allows us to co-create with entrepreneurs like Nigistu and design solutions with community members that are desirable, feasible, and viable.

Nigistu's Details

  • Ethiopia
  • Water, Sanitation & Hygiene
Entrepreneur Impact
  • Production
  • Local Distribution & Sales
Ecosystem Impact
  • Food & Nutrition Security
  • Water Security
  • Environmental Protection
  • Local Economic Development

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.

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