Maedot Assefa: An Inspirational Business Woman
“Every day is an opportunity for everyone. Nothing is bigger than what it is. Be bold, go for what you want, and believe in it. The opportunity might not happen every day.” ~Maedot Assefa~
Maedot Assefa was born and raised in the heart of Addis Ababa. Her parents were well-educated with a firm belief and focus to provide the best quality education for their children. Her mother, an already successful economist, was an inspiration for Maedot. As she had always read and aspired to know new things, she instilled in her children the value of education as a vehicle to a successful life. Hence, Maedot was inspired to learn and do more with her life and became a lifelong learner.
Maedot went on to earn her Bachelor of Education in Tourism Management from Gondar University. During her stay in college, she was able to visit different parts of Ethiopia and witnessed the beauty and uniqueness of locally made handmade products. After graduation, she went to the Netherlands and stayed there for 3 years to pursue her MA in International Service Marketing. After working professionally for a year and a half, she returned to Ethiopia and Jupiter International Hotel and worked her way up to Sales and Marketing Director. While working at Jupiter, she enhanced her skills in digital marketing. In 2015, Maedot developed one of its kind e-commerce platform called Store251. The main objective of Store251 was to create awareness and sell locally-made products. After two years, in collaboration with Jupiter, a physical store was opened inside the hotel. This inflamed her ambition to bring forth the products to a national and international market.
When asked about her life’s philosophy, Maedot asserts “to always be an active learner; to search for the lesson in the everyday endeavor; let everything you do be about changing for the better and developing yourself; enhance yourself with knowledge and wisdom and give back to your community.” As an entrepreneur, she consistently tries to put this concept into practice in both her professional and personal life. She also thinks it’s important to open doors for the next generation by connecting and understanding their needs and sharing the benefits gained as business/community leaders.
For Maedot, success is peace of mind. A person is utterly responsible for the outcomes of life. “Understanding this helped me to be conscious of my actions. I always make sure I do my ultimate best and leave nothing for tomorrow. Life is a journey not a destination. As the scriptures says, whoever has, will be given more. As I give back, I feel more empowered.”
Maedot considers Store251 successful because she took a chance in bringing out locally-made Ethiopian products to be accessible to both national and international markets. She proudly asserts that her success was possible with the aid of God as well as a loving and supportive husband and kids.
The rapid growth of small to large-scale designs and Ethiopian-made products by dynamic Ethiopian designers and producers magnified Store251’s significance. With a firm belief that these products should be marketed for online shoppers and serve as an interactive medium to address customers’ questions regarding logistics, transparency, and much more. Store251 believes designers and producers should highly benefit from their work by owning their brands, and building their own loyal customer base so they become financially sound as well. Maedot also believes the online store will contribute its share by bringing international online shoppers to Ethiopian Designers and artesian producers through its operations.
When Maedot is not working, she loves to read and enjoys alone time. She enjoys updating herself and global advancements. She also loves spending time with her children, extended family members, and friends. She is grateful for life in its entirety.
Leadership, in Maedot’s opinion, is all about showing, teaching what she knows, and developing others. She is a transformative leader, one who is interested in being a change agent. She sees herself as a Servant Leader–a leader who sets an example for her employees. She firmly believes that a leader must exhibit this style of leadership in order to develop and thrive.
Maedot’s advice for the younger generation is to be aware of the many opportunities they have; to use every day as an opportunity to go after what they want; to make sure that they use every opportunity that comes their way and use their full potential.
Maedot came across AWIB about 8 years ago. She was surprised to see AWIB being the first and the only organization working on the missing middle women. She was really impressed. Women don’t really think they need that until they saw AWiB. She attended the monthly gatherings and recalls AWiB as a place where they teach being a responsible leader. She was really impressed. She wants AWiB to reach the younger generation, so, they can be developed into responsible leaders.
AWiB expresses Her appreciation to Maedot for taking the time to share her ideas and important message to the younger generation.
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