Fatima Nassir, and Azeeza Adam, are young women entrepreneurs from Sebha in the Libyan south who are successful examples of the LEE project.
They own “Yummy !” a virtual platform that uses digital marketing via an application where food service providers, house wives and women in general, are able to sell their products.
It all began when a short time into the pilot period of their project, Fatima and Azeeza along with a number of other women had the opportunity to attend one of LEE’s sponsored self-development and leadership programmes in their city. The Springboard training is renowned for the tools it deploys in the service of women at no matter what stage they are in life. That is its strength, and the skills and self-confidence gained through the training in addition to the exposure to others going through a similar self-reflection phase spurred these young women to take the decisive step to move on from the Beta version and launch the full mode “Yummy!”
The “Yummy!” Idea had started out when Fatima who loved IT technology, wanted to harness its benefits to help boost the local catering businesses and support in marketing their products. She needed encouragement and a partner. Catering was a phenomenal rising trend in Libya spurring many women owned businesses who either lacked other marketable skills or were home based due to security reasons especially in her area. The advantage of creating something that would contribute to empowering these women and helping them enter the economy whilst bringing income to their households and communities was an irresistible combination as it started to crystallize in Azeeza’s thinking during the training and they were ready to put it out there by September 2017.
They opened a Facebook page and almost immediately had 700 likes, receiving many requests to register with “Yummy!” from women who wanted to promote their catering services and clients interested in buying healthy homemade food. Fatima and Azeeza further enhanced their Facebook image and the network gained through their social media visibility increased their popularity and allowed them to link 25 men and women with caterers to provide home cooked delivered food.
Within a month they had officially launched the “Yummy!” app. This encouraging success showed them that this was but the beginning. Their next step took them to participate in a startup competition implemented by Tatweeer Research. Solely based in Benghazi it is a government entity established in 2010 between the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) & Central Bank of Libya (CBL). It is a commercially driven enterprise that promotes the creation of a Knowledge Economy in Libya. “Enjazi” is it’s first competition.
Twenty out of one hundred and twenty eight projects submitted for Enjazi were shortlisted and among them was luckily enough “Yummy!. The next phase of the competition took them to Beirut, Lebanon where they attended a two-week intensive training program where they were taught how to fine-tune their start-up idea. Fatima and Azeeza’s hard work paid off and they ended winning third place in the finals.
The prize includes a learning trip to London, England to visit various exhibits and start-up centers as well as co-working spaces. Fatima and Aziza were set to gain the necessary exposure to meet with potential experts to deliberate on further developing their project. At the same time, they were hoping to acquire some type of monetary value to fund their project. Moreover, they won the free life-time use of co-working space at Tatweer Research in Benghazi and have started to become renowned locally and internationally.