At around 9 p.m. each night, Mamdouh turns out the lights, locks the doors of his mobile phone shop, and starts his walk home. Once on his way, he evaluates the day, makes mental notes for the next day and then, there is one ritual he never neglects. “As I walk home, I call my family to see if they need anything. I make sure to bring what they ask for.”
Since 2015, Mamdouh, now 20 years-old, has been his family’s sole breadwinner, supporting his mother and three younger siblings. For over two years, the family relied on aid and unpredictable earnings from odd jobs until, with the support of NEF, Mamdouh transformed his childhood hobby into a business.
“As a child, I loved to play with and fix telephones,” explained Mamdouh who under NEF’s livelihoods project formalized his love of technology through a vocational mobile phone maintenance course and then learned the financial side of being an entrepreneur. He drafted a business plan that was approved and secured a cash grant.
After investing in renovating the shop and buying stock, Mamdouh has been building the business and now has a stable monthly income. He is proud of what he has achieved, “I can bring my brothers and sisters what they need, I don’t need to ask for help and I can take on challenges,” he said.
In a year from now, Mamdouh anticipates the business will be widely recognized as a highly professional and respected shop in the local community and hopes to move to a prominent location on the main road.