Nezha: from drop-out to small business owner (Morocco)
Nezha Bensaki, 27, left secondary school in order to help her family. She lives with her mother and five siblings."The idea of opening a hair salon started when my mother fell ill and we find ourselves with no one to take care of us financially. I was obliged to leave high school and went to study hairdressing in Meknes (a big city in eastern-central Morocco) for 2 years. After the training, I worked at home and started to be known in Boumia (remote village in the eastern Morocco)."
Nezha overcame many obstacles including family disagreements, before opening her first salon. "With the help of my brother and sister, I opened a small hairdressing salon. I got a loan of 4,500 DH ($530 USD) and then 9,000 DH ($1050 USD) from AMOS that I used to rent a big salon and to fit out the small one, I also bought the clothes and equipment like caftans and "amariya" (a round table where the bride sits and is carried) that are used for wedding parties. I work hard to improve my business and, thanks to the training, I am also using technology in advertising. I started to show pictures of what I do to the clients using a [PowerPoint] presentation and they really like it."
"From two chairs and a mirror, I now have, thanks to AMOS, two well-equipped hairdressing salons and I employ my own team made up of four men and two women who help me with wedding animation."
"I am ambitious and I want to go beyond the hairdressing salon and open my own hairdressing school because we don't have one in the village or in the area surrounding it. I also want to become a wedding planner and employ and help more youth in my village."