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Bineredada Older People Bread and Injera Baking Association

A group of 37older women and men initiated their own business endeavour, made possible through partnership between HelpAge International and its local partner, Eneredada Elder People Association (EEPA) with generous funds from Sweden/NORAD.


In the beginning, this group income generating activity involved the HelpAge partner, EEPA, in coordination with the Woreda (District) level women association identifying a number of 60+ people from the surrounding area. The criteria further included the older persons having no means of other support and and had the ability to support themselves through work from the district.

According to the former navy navigator and current general manager of the group, Getachew Solomon (72 years old), EEPA brought in experts from concerned district level government offices to provide tailor-made trainings on different topics – health, hygiene and how to manage small-scale business.

The group of 34 older women and 3 older men from five Kebeles in the district, was given a total loan of ETB 278,000 (USD$ 14256.41) as start-up capital. Once they legally registered with the Micro Finance Investment Agency, they purchased a heavy duty oven for baking bread, a heavy duty onion grinder, two injera ovens and other kitchen utensils required. In addition, renovation of the space given to then by the Kebele followed.  

“This has project has brought us back to life through work. On behalf of, Bineredada Older People Bread and Injera Baking Association, I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude and appreciation to HelpAge, EEPA and the concerned government offices for investing and believing in us (older people) and making us believe that we have the power to change our lives through work. Thank you very much.” Said Getachew Solomon

Now, the association is providing its services to the community at full capacity. They prepare and sell a total of 1000 bread buns and 400 injeras every day. Some of their customers are members of the community but they also have customers like the Ras Desta Hospital, local schools and hotels. The association makes more than ETB 100.000 (USD$ 5128.21) per month only on the bakery services. They further engage in onion grinding services and provide food and hot beverages at a fair price in their small.

This is truly a wonderful development! The older men and women continue to serve their communities and the local economy, all the while, they are making a good living allowing them to support better themselves and their families. 

Abebech Beyene, 55 years old, member of group IGA

Group IGA members Shewaye Feyessa, 57, (right) and Abebech Beyene, 55, speaking of the group business.

“About one year ago, my life changed. EEPA informed me of this group income generating activity project. They said they would train us, give us pooled loan thereby enabling us to make ends meet. I was hesitant at first, because I’ve heard of many similar projects failing. But I had nothing to loose so I joined. And to my surprise, we are working together and it is looking better everyday. I will never forget the first time when I got my New Year’s bonus of ETB 500 (USD$ 25.64). I have a job, I have friends and I have a source of livelihood. I feel much more independent and above all I am finally my own boss! ”

  1. Counting the quantity of injera.
  2. Getachew displays the onion grinder
  3. Selling bread baked in the bakery.

  1. The newly purchased and installed heavy duty oven to be used for baking bread.
  2. One of the older women of duty proudly displays the injera she baked for the business she co-owns with  her 36 partners.
  3. Older women at work on the grounds of their business.

March 2014