Kamal Riad a 31-year-old doctor from Casablanca, dreamed of opening his own medical center and providing high quality services—particularly in underserved rural areas—while in medical school. After graduating from the University of Casablanca’s Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy in 2012, Kamal held positions with La Samir Company in Mohammedia and OCP Group in El Jadida providing medical services. He then worked as a medical assistant in El Jadida for three years to gain more experience and refine his skills—all of which helped to prepare him to start his own medical center. Through the National Agency for the Promotion of Employment and Skills (ANAPEC), Kamal learned about the Empowering Youth through Entrepreneurship in Morocco project in 2016, and he immediately signed up for the training and coaching sessions. “To be honest, I thought I knew everything,” Kamal said. “But, I learned so much about the process of creating a business, the necessary administrative papers for registration, techniques for marketing, and how to handle clients.”
Through the project, Kamal developed a professional business plan. His plan was reviewed by the project’s selection committee, and approved for a grant of 20,000 Moroccan Dirhams (approximately $2000). With these funds, Kamal was able to purchase essential equipment for his clinic, including a mobile halogen lamp, a finger pulse oximeter, and an omron tensimeter. In January 2016, Kamal opened his clinic in El Jadida, providing different services in general medicine and medical emergencies. “My wife, friends, and family encouraged me as well as supported me financially to take this step,” Kamal said. “I was always inspired by my friends who started their own projects through the years, and couldn’t believe that now I was starting my own.” After one year, Kamal’s business is seeing great progress and success, even given financial obstacles and competition. He is able to cover all center expenses, while also saving approximately 7000 Moroccan Dirhams (nearly $700 USD) per month. “This is just the start,” Kamal said. Kamal is planning social activities with local associations to market his business and build its reputation. He also plans to organize a medical caravan in rural areas to provide free services to particularly underserved populations.
The EYEM project is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and implemented by Near East Foundation (NEF) in partnership with the Moroccan Association for the Support and Promotion of Small Businesses (AMAPPE), the Moroccan Social Solidarity Economy Network (REMESS), and alAmana Microfinance. The EYEM project has trained 486 youth in microenterprise development, helped over 300 youth to develop professional business plans, and helped over 250 businesses.