As I walk up to the shop, I immediately notice the smiling face behind the shops stall. Mustafa, was a graduate of the core life skills program in 2019. He tells us his story by explaining how the program helped him own his own business.
My dream was to always be a journalist and was in university studying journalism when my family could no longer afford to continue paying, so I had to drop out. This was extremely disappointing to me as I started to lose hope of how I was going to find a job without a university degree. As a couple of months passed, my desire to leave the country began to grow. I began feeling more unsure of my opportunities locally and life became hard.
That’s when I found The Next Economy program and applied. My vision and way of thinking changed. I started thinking about entrepreneurship and opening my own business. The idea to open my own shop came from realising that my neighborhood did not have any shops nearby that sold necessities,
I’ve been open for two years now and plan on expanding and eventually buying the land my shop is on.
As the interview went on, Mustafa discussed his plan to grow the business into a lucrative shop that sold not only the necessities but several items that one cannot find without taking the long journey to the nearest fuel station.
As a customer came up to the shop he paused to gather the items needed before turning to me and explaining his gratitude in the program showing him the potential in investing in himself and his country. “I would tell young people who feel discouraged about not finding work here, to create their own. There are plenty of opportunities here at home if only we foster our skills and learn how to grow.”