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Catalyzing an industrial and agricultural revolution in Ethiopia to create a billion dollars of value by 2025 for the benefit of Ethiopia and our investors.

Our Vision

Our vision is to help catalyze an industrial and agricultural revolution in Ethiopia, building upon recent infrastructure development and a decade of double-digit growth in the country’s GDP and create one billion dollars of total value in our companies by 2025 for the benefit of Ethiopia and our investors.

Verdant Frontiers researches hundreds of business opportunities throughout Ethiopia looking for the very best ventures combining investor return, social impact, risk minimization and scale potential, then we start each business from scratch. We leverage our long-standing relationships to recruit proven, high-integrity, global management teams with the appropriate expertise for the project. We move to quickly establish operations and cash flow to prove the venture then fund and grow the business with a minimum targeted thirty percent returns to our investors. We’ve chosen Ethiopia because of the opportunities that exist due to lack of competition, the compelling need for jobs and economic development to alleviate poverty, unlimited resources in affordable labor, a progressive pro-business government, and its strategic location for serving the, North Africa, Middle East and European markets with agricultural products and goods.

Investment Opportunities

Verdant Frontiers offers investors project-specific opportunities to invest in start-up and early stage businesses led by proven management teams with massive scale potential.

We invest our own capital in each project, offer preferred returns to investors and believe that in order to do long-term good in Ethiopia we must establish highly-profitable and highly-scalable companies which are good neighbors to their community. The funding needs vary for each deal and range from $1M to $10M in capital depending on the opportunity and stage of growth with a targeted investor return in excess of a 30% IRR.

About Us

Verdant Frontiers was founded in 2013 by two life-long entrepreneurs with the vision of achieving a compelling financial return by creating high-growth, world-class businesses in Ethiopia that create flourishing markets in this rapidly growing country.

In the past three years we’ve started and funded five companies and have subsequently sold two, liquidated one and continue to build the other two for high-growth and strong investor returns. Our vision is to help catalyze an industrial and agricultural revolution in Ethiopia, building upon recent infrastructure development and a decade of double-digit growth in the country’s GDP and create one billion dollars of total value in our companies by 2025 for the benefit of Ethiopia and our investors,

About Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a vibrant emerging market, with a population of more than 90 Million, and an economy that frequently ranks among the fastest growing in the world, Ethiopia is ripe for investment, and has proven time and time again to be a market that is already well on its way to building an industrial revolution the likes of which Africa has never seen before.

In recent years the pace at which Ethiopia is developing has increased, massive infrastructure projects are being undertaken, where there were once dirt pathways now brand new freeways and train lines stand. Markets are maturing, in 2011 EXC was launched as the country’s first commodities exchange market, providing stabilities in pricing, and access to global markets for local farmers, the local banking system has seen massive development in many areas including commercial and consumer lending products coming to market. The next step in Ethiopia’s development is job creation on a large scale, an effort that is already well under way, global investors can now be seen funding projects in all corners of Ethiopia, utilizing the affordable labor and recently built infrastructure to build industry in an unprecedented scale in Africa. A transformation is underway, once a country held together by the efforts of NGO’s and Non Profit organizations, Ethiopia is now benefiting from the talents of investors, entrepreneurs and business leaders to define the economic future of a vast generation of newly middle class income earners, not only are great profits being made, but this new era is benefiting the citizens, workforce and every day people in ways they have never been able to experience before. Verdant Frontiers exists to make lives better by stimulating an industrial and agricultural revolution in Ethiopia. For the people, for our investors.

Portfolio Companies


Verde Beef Processing

We founded this beef feedlot and processing company in 2014 with $4M of seed capital and 100 hectares of land. This venture is located in Adami Tulu, Ethiopia and is led by a veteran team of entrepreneurs and managers. Since establishing the business, it has grown to a 1,300 hectare project with the target of over 5,000 cattle on site by the end of 2015. Annually, this project will have a capacity of 81,000 head of cattle, produce 25,000 MT of beef per year and generate annual revenues over $100M.

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Verdant Real Estate

This venture serves the growing, yet under-served embassy and NGO housing market in Addis Ababa. Current and planned projects include a property management service, housing development and multi-family construction.

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ET Construction Equipment Rentals

We founded ET Rentals in late 2013 building this construction equipment rental company from the ground up. This was Verdant’s second venture that we liquidated in early 2015.

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Omo Valley Safari Lodge

We conceived and established this property as a mid-level hotel and restaurant targeted towards economically-minded tourists and government workers in Turmi, Ethiopia. We sold the majority of our stake in this venture in late 2015 to a local operator.

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New Projects

Verdant is currently considering new projects in Ethiopia with a particular focus on agribusiness ventures given the government’s support of these projects, Ethiopia’s rich natural resources and the growing opportunities in providing food to a growing global population.

The Team


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Scott Friesen

Managing Partner

Scott Friesen is a serial entrepreneur who has started, grown & sold companies since 1998. Over the past 15 years, he’s helped to orchestrate the sale of three of these start-ups in technology and media.

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Levi Benkert

Managing Partner

Levi Benkert is passionate about building, funding, and advancing, sustainable companies in the developing world. Since 2000 he has founded and sold businesses in various industries around the globe, with a drive towards sustainability and efficiency

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Bruce Hamilton

Partner/Country Director Ethiopia

Bruce Hamilton is a committed and experienced Agri Business manager who has a diverse experience and education in the field of Agri Business Management. Bruce’s management of large scale agricultural businesses has spanned 25 years and businesses in Africa which scale over several thousands of hectares with thousands of employees. Staffed full-time on the Verde Beef project

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Sam Weatherford

Senior Advisor

Sam is a Partner of Weatherford Partners, a firm with deep roots in Florida and a strong global network that partners with owners and management teams of high integrity to build great businesses through the provision of capital and strategic business advisory services.

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Kiya Tsegaye

Legal Counsel

Kiya is Verdant Frontiers’ in-house legal counsel for our Addis Ababa office. Kiya is passionate about Ethiopian business and has a keen eye towards putting deals together, and creating value for businesses within the legal system. Staffed full-time on the Verde Beef project

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Tewedaj Missale

Researcher

Tewedaj works with Verdant Frontiers as a research analyst. She graduated top of her class at Unity University in Addis Ababa with a degree in Business and Marketing, and then held a position at one of the largest import companies in Ethiopia as an administrator then later as research director. Staffed full-time on the Verde Beef project

Contacting Verdant


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