Young Woman’s Successful Business Helps Her Return to School

Hajar Addani grew up in Khouribga City and El Jadida, Morocco where she studied computer science in college and excelled in her program. In 2015, Hajar was accepted to the US Diversity Visa Lottery Program—a program that grants eligible candidates a
chance to legally immigrate to the United States to live and work. Hajar believed that the opportunity would be life changing for her family, and she began a seven-month preliminary course in Morocco to improve her English language skills. Because of her
ambitious spirit and motivation to change her family’s life for the better, Hajar was able learn to write English in a short period of

Unfortunately, after Hajar had completed all the necessary steps to obtain a visa, the program stopped accepting candidates
to go abroad. Despite feeling discouraged by the news, Hajar did not give up and immediately started looking for other opportunities. “I wanted to start my own business, to open a small store to sell newspapers and mobile phone credits,” Hajar said. “I will start small, but my dream is to open a supermarket”. Observing her determination, Hajar’s father introduced her to a friend who owned a kiosk in El Jadida. Hajar rented the space and began to prepare her business.

Because she did not have enough experience in business management or financial support, Hajar joined EYEM in February of
2016. “As a part of the EYEM project, I met young people like me who are very ambitious and want to do well in their future,” Hajar said. “In fact, the project mapped our way to success!” With the skills she learned and a grant of approximately $2,000 USD from the EYEM project, Hajar opened her kiosk where she sells newspapers, mobile phone accessories and credits, and offers copying services. “As in any business, there is a lot competition and obstacles,” Hajar said. “But, what is exciting in business is that there are always opportunities.”

During the first two months of the project Hajar found it difficult to meet her business expenses and pay her rent out of the profit she was making. Soon enough she started to see a profit, and she is now able to cover all her monthly business expenses and still keep 1,000 Moroccan dirham (125 USD) per month as a profit. Hajar recently signed a contract with Inwi, a telecommunications company, to display their advertising in her kiosk, earning an additional monthly fee for this service. Hajar is working hard to save more money to develop her business step by step. “With my business income, I am able to pay all my fees
to study English at night,” Hajar said. “I no longer have to rely on my parents for help.”