Owning shares in local business


Is it possible for me, as a foreigner to own a 33% share in a local healthcare business?

The Ethiopian investment office has said its not possible unless I invest a large sum ($50,000+) and get "investor" status.

I don't want any particular status or concessions from the government, I just want to participate in a small startup venture, with other ethiopians (and diaspora ethiopians) as my fellow directors.

Our initial investment would be around $12,000 per investor when there are 3 investors in total.

Would it be possible to set up the company in the UK, (with the same directors) and have the company in Ethiopia being a wholly owned subsidiary?

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