Alia Jarboue is a founder of Be My Vision, a foundation for partially sighted and blind people in the Netherlands and Morocco. When the global pandemic of Covid-19 hit their operation, she had to reinvent the business model.
Alia's entrepreneurial journey
In 2018, Alia Jarboue created two foundations for partially sighted and blind people in the Netherlands and Morocco, offering them support to overcome the difficulties in life. Alia herself is partially sighted.
During the global pandemic of Covid-19, the foundation was not able to function as usual in Morocco. Unfortunately, the fixed costs still had to be paid. Alia signed up for the YMCB programme in May 2020 looking for support. Due to health problems, she was not able to attend the YMCB webinars in May.
She nevertheless managed to attend the webinars organised in October by EnterStart, an organisation working with YMCB in the Netherlands and received one-to-one mentoring in July. Within one week she launched a new activity to generate income for her foundation and its employees in Morocco: blind teachers offering online Arabic, Amazigh, and French lessons. This activity was well received, and 60 people signed up for the lessons.
The global pandemic of Covid-19 made Alia realise that her foundations have to become self-sustaining and that a sustainability strategy is required. Her Dutch supplier for materials for blind and visually impaired proposed to her to initiate a project in Morocco: assembling semifinished materials for blind and visually impaired by blind and visually impaired persons in Morocco. BeMyVision will set up a social enterprise for these activities and will manage the project in Morocco. The assembled products will partly be sold in Morocco by BeMyVision and a part will return to the Netherlands. All parties: BeMyVision, the Dutch supplier and the blind and visually impaired, will all benefit. BeMyVision will generate an income what will lead to more financial independence. Full operations are expected to be launched by the end of 2021.