I spent 10 years in Europe. Then I left because my family needed me. Back in Morocco, the EIMA helped me to start my own business. Now my father, my brother and I produce sandals that we sell.
My name is Mouhcine and I’m 35 years old. I live in Quaà Asserasse, a village in North Morocco on the Mediterranean coast. Financial issues meant that I left school early and left for Europe.
I spent 10 years living in different European countries. I hoped that I’d find a job that would improve my situation. But then I decided to change my life. I returned to my home country.
My family needed me and I had lots of jobs when I was back in Morocco. I used to work as a salesperson on market stalls, for example. Then I wanted to start my own business. I wanted to make and sell sandals and slippers. I used to work as a salesperson on market stalls, for example. Then I wanted to start my own business. I wanted to make and sell sandals and slippers.
Training is the key to success
I heard about the Moroccan-German Information Centre on Migration and Vocational Integration (EIMA) in Tangier in February 2020. I went there straight away. I started a training course a month later, which was online due to the pandemic. This training helped me to improve my personal and professional abilities. I also refined my plans for running my business.
I began the second phase of my planning in June 2020 after the lockdown. I was given financial assistance by the EIMA and by the Center for Very Small Solidarity Enterprises (CTPES). This money meant that I could buy machinery and materials for my business.
I’ve expanded my business
I chose the village of Quaà Asserasse for my business, because it’s a well-known tourist resort. It’s situated between Tétouan and Al Hoceima.
I decided to expand my product range. I introduced new fabric products from the northern region, such as “mandil” and “lehaf”.
This generated enough turnover that I was able to continue running my business despite the coronavirus restrictions. I learned the abilities to do this in the training courses that the EIMA arranged for me. I expect my turnover to increase further when more tourists come again.