Enterprising – Wudassie Enquberhan
Wudassie Enquberhan is the General Manager of Wudassie group: Wudassie Diagnostic, AKKOO Coffee, Jorgo Academy, Fetun Technology, and Moa Development & Training. Most known and the first in the Wudassie Group, Wudassie Diagnostic Center (WDC), founded in 2008, is one of the first diagnostic centers with digital x-ray in the country.
Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Wudassie grew up in a house full of love and care. The firstborn in a family of four siblings, Wudassie took it upon herself to be responsible for her siblings that she carried throughout her life and in different aspects of her life. Her childhood was filled with fun activities like playing volleyball, table tennis, and running.
Wudassie attended Nazareth School—an all-girl school—and then went on to continue her education at the Addis Ababa School of Commerce and studied Secretarial Science, and earned a second bachelor’s at the same university in Information Technology. Growing up in an all-girls school, Wudassie found a college coed life very discombobulating. All the freedom of expression and safe space for a young aspiring girl was no more to be.
Wudassie’s professional journey began at Dashen Bank and progressed to various non-governmental organizations. She worked as an admin assistant responsible for the recruitment of Interpreters and translators at the United Nations for five years before she started her venture in the business world. Marriage and owning a business seem to come and fit together at the age of 24.
The first business of the newlywed was Wudassie Souvenir Shop which opened its door to customers in 2010. When Wudassie Diagnostic Center was born, she took over the souvenir shop solo while her husband managed the diagnostic center. For Wudassie, the inspiration for the business world came from her husband and business partner, Dawit Hailu.
The transition from a structured organization like the UN to managing a souvenir shop was overwhelming. She was challenged by the lack of professionalism and trust with employees. There were times when she doubted whether she had made the right decision or not. But through the challenges, she started learning and adapting to the business world.
Wudassie Group has around 1000 employees. As the business expands, Wudassie’s focus is on upper-level management of finance and administration. She is involved in decision-making as a Wudassie group’s board member. Even though she is not directly managing lower levels, she remembers the early days of the business when she put on multiple hats of responsibilities such as receptionist, cleaning, patient assisting, etc.
Wudassie is passionate about inspiring and shaping others’ transformation and growth. The change in others and well-being bring her fulfillment. She values being able to help people. Rather than business success, she is fulfilled when she helps others. She guarantees that the customers at the diagnostic facility receive proper care. Seeing a student develop into a decent character at school makes her happy.
One of the businesses, AKKOO Coffee, is named after her mother-in-law’s nickname, which signifies mother. The restaurant aspires to give quality home-cooked cuisine to provide satisfaction and happiness via hospitality that adds to her satisfaction in what she contributes through owning businesses. She passionately thinks that fulfilling corporate social responsibility is everyone’s obligation. The diagnostic facility and school offer free services and education to vulnerable members of society who cannot afford to pay. And has provided access to water in Bishoftu, where Jorgo Academy is.
Her most significant accomplishment as a woman is raising her five children in a godly manner because developing and shaping a human is a challenging duty. Secondly, she is grateful to have a healthy marriage despite the hardship of running a business together. She also takes pride in her good relationships with her colleagues and business partners. She started the family business with her husband from nothing when they met, and she thanks God for everything they have accomplished today. She makes an effort to spend quality time with her children. She serves her church community and engages actively in all activities.
She advises the younger generation to trust themselves, to be determined, and to have faith. Numerous negative influences tell women we can’t reach our goals through verbal and non-verbal comments. “Even in a leadership position, people underestimate us and second-guess our decisions. But having faith in ourselves will help us rise beyond it all. She claims that failure is a common thing. A child that does not crawl and falls cannot stand”. She believes we all have a bigger purpose and encourages the youth to be in search of it.
She defines leadership as taking charge of one’s own life. She asserts, “when we are responsible, we will be leaders”. She assesses her leadership based on her positive impact on those around her and her organization. The feedback she receives from her leadership is uplifting. She believes the most challenging aspect of being a leader is being compassionate towards the people we lead and respecting them. According to Wudassie, the secret to successful leadership is humility and acknowledging that we don’t know everything.
Wudassie appreciates AWIB for the work it does in lifting up women and providing different training. She is also happy to see AWIB creating young leaders through training and capacity building.
AWiB appreciates Wudassie’s support as one of AWiB’s 2023 partners.
Share on your socials!