Entrepreneurs turn Moroccan Dream into Reality with £500 Each

Two young entrepreneurs from Birmingham had just £500 each when they launched their clothing business from their homes.

Entrepreneurs built Clothing Business with £500 Each f

"We started from zero and only had £500 each."

Two young entrepreneurs built their clothing business with just £500 each.

After debuting in November 2022, Shawfikul Zimmadar and Kamran Janjua have already turned a profit and will be the first “Muslim-owned business” to open a pop-up stall in Birmingham’s Grand Central.

They founded Maghribi, which sells Moroccan thobes. These are Middle Eastern, gownlike robes.

Their venture stemmed from a dream in a Moroccan marketplace.

Aside from their shared business drive, they had personal reasons to chase success.

Shawfikul and Kamran met in college and started a friendship.

Shawfikul said: “I live in Alum Rock which is a rough area and when I was younger I could have easily gone down the wrong path.

“But I was blessed to find good people and worked all my life in our family café.

“This taught me a lot about business. I had a lot of different jobs, I also tried crypto and NFTs which didn’t work out but taught me a lot of skills.

“Then I took a trip to Morocco and visited the markets where I saw thobes on sale. I thought, we could make something of this and it came up in a casual conversation.

“We left it for a year and then realised we wanted financial stability so thought, why not?

“In South Asian communities we are not taught to think outside the box but just get a degree, job and get married. I am a college drop out and I just worked all my life with a drive to create.

“I am Bangladeshi so when I see my people being successful I think if they can do it, I can do it too.”

Kamran was an only child, forcing him to mature fast. When he was a teenager, he got into content creation.

He said: “We had no money, website or followers. We started from zero and only had £500 each.

“So I went to Morocco and looked for contacts, photos, grades of material quality and then we found a manufacturer. Our first batch cost £1,200 to make and we got branded packaging from China.

“We didn’t even have a tour guide for Morocco, we just went from shop to shop finding and comparing prices and quality, we would do this in nine-hour shifts.

“We launched in February with just 100 followers on Instagram.

“Within three months we made a profit and left our full-time jobs.”

It was a bold move, especially for Kamran who had a one-year-old daughter to provide for.

The entrepreneurs pride themselves on the business’ Moroccan roots even though friends urged them to manufacture in South Asian countries to cut costs.

The pair plan to expand Maghribi into wedding collections, a ladies’ range, a charity foundation and even workshops to help young people.

Giving advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, Shawfikul said:

“Taking risks is scary but it can change your life in a good way, even if you fail you still gained knowledge.”

“Don’t be tied down by what your community say, we don’t have degrees but you don’t have to define success by a degree.”

Kamran added: “You cannot be unproductive and expect things to happen.

“As Asians, we are reluctant to step out of our comfort zones but the most important thing than money is freedom.

“Freedom to take care of your family, friends, go on holidays etc. We do back-to-back shifts 24/7 because we see a vision.”

Maghribi’s pop-up stall launches on June 24 and 25 at Grand Central, Birmingham.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

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