Zelalem Messele (47) has been running a 16 hectare rose nursery in Bishoftu (Ethiopia) since 2007. After having worked as a banker in England for a while, in 2007 he came to Ethiopia, the country of his family, to start a flower nursery. He chose roses because most of the production takes place within this segment. Zelalem still stands by his choice. “It’s a good business. And it’s a wonderful job,” he says with a smile.

To Zelalem Messele, growing roses is real business. He runs a nursery with 420 Ethiopians, creating plenty of employment. He does not really have green fingers. "My drive lies more in managing employees and in organization." He started the rose nursery after following a course in horticulture. The company has now grown to a size of 16 hectares. He wants to start a second company in Northern Ethiopia in autumn, which will give him a total of 55 hectares of roses. "The land has already been purchased and the plans have been made. We are currently waiting for approval. My ambition is to expand our company step by step."

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