A Coder by age 10, S​oft​ware Developer by 19: Meet Ethiopian teen tech entrepreneur Betelhem Dessie

Betelhem is working to equip girls with the skills they need to work in their country’s growing tech industry.

When Betelhem Dessie’s father didn’t have time to celebrate her 9th birthday, she decided to become a tech entrepreneur and pay for a celebration herself.

Drawn to the field for its money-making potential, Betelhem began learning by hanging around local computer repair and video editing shops in her Ethiopian hometown of Harar. Google searches and borrowed books from local colleges helped expand her knowledge.

Soon Betelhem was earning an income from her after-school tech jobs, which included video editing and installing cellphone software. “Being able to make that money made me feel very confident and independent. I wanted that feeling to last,” she explains of her initial interest in the field.