Seeing clearly in Somaliland through SMART OPTICAL – Somalia

Mubarik Caaqil is a 26-year-old Optometric doctor living in Hargeisa. In 2019, he graduated from the University of Hargeisa with a Bachelor’s degree in Optometric. Today, he is the founder of SMART OPTICAL Company, providing the latest optical service from quality brands. According to Mubarik “the blue cut-based lens is our preposition value that separates us from other optical companies.”

After graduating, Mubarik managed to quickly secure employment with a government-owned hospital in Las’anod as an optometric doctor. After one year of working there he resigned to pursue his childhood dream: to start a business of his own. However, despite working tirelessly, he was not able to secure sufficient investments to realize his dream.

“After one year of unemployment, in December 2020, I saw a business investment and training opportunity advertised by Shaqodoon on their social media, to which I applied,” he explains. Mubarik’s business idea was shortlisted and he was subsequently called to an interview.

“At the end of the training, we were able to pitch our business ideas, after which mine was selected as the top two best ideas. It resulted in me being granted an investment opportunity that helped me realize my business,” he continued.

Mubarik was awarded 2,000 EUR (approximately USD$2,260) in seed capital, provided by the Inclusive Local and Economic Development (ILED) programme, funded by the European Union (EU), which he used to buy lenses and frames for the first time. In addition, he was able to raise another $2,000 from family and friends through the Tarmiye Crowdfunding platform. “I was really excited and happy, I was able to invest over $4,000 in my business,” he said.

In April 2021, Mubarik officially launched his business at Burj Omaar Building center in Hargeisa. He recruited four employees: two optometric doctors and two sales employees, and they made great profits every month. “Our plan is to open more branches in other regions of Somaliland and I am also planning to expand my business into neighboring countries, like Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti,” Mubarik concluded.

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