(ERGO) – Former Dadaab refugee Mohamoud Shuriye Hared, 23, is running a successful buy and sell online business focusing on rental houses and used cars for sale in his hometown of Kismayo.
He hit upon the idea as part of an assignment on his economics and management degree course at Jubba University of Somalia.
“I wanted to bring on board the jobless youth in Kismayo to earn a living together. But all of those I approached said it is a hard task, we can’t do it,” he said. “So I decided to implement the idea alone.”
Mohamoud was raised by his paternal grandfather in Dadaab refugee camp and returned to Kismayo in 2018 after completing secondary school in Dadaab. He bought a laptop using $300 sent by his aunt in the US, designed a logo for Kismayo Rental and Selling Co., and scouted the city for vacant rental houses, used cars and furniture for sale.
The business took off and in February he rented an office in Aargada market and hired 15 employees.
“A lot of people are on our wait list, you can’t get a house easily here,” he said. People are returning to the city and houses priced from $300-$500 are popular.
The company charges 20 per cent of the first month’s house rent and a flat rate of $100 for cars and $15 for furniture sales. They have rented 200 houses so far and sold 50 cars.
Mohamoud takes home around $700-$800 a month. In addition he sends $150 to his step-mother in Gududay village, Lower Juba region, pays $50 for five step-siblings studying at Gududay primary school, and supports his maternal grandmother.
One of his employees is Ahmed Bulle Osman, who returned from Hagadera refugee camp in Kenya under the UN’s voluntary repatriation scheme in 2016. He works five days a week at a salary of $120 and has managed to move out of a relative’s house to his own rented room paying $25.
“I am independent now thanks to this job,” he said.
“I pay for my rent, water and electricity bills. I also pay my university fee from my salary.”
Bile Ahmed Aweys, a university friend, has enrolled two of his four children in a local primary school on his $200 salary. He admires Mohamoud’s drive.
“When someone endures hardship living in a refugee camp their mind is sharpened and they see opportunities where normal people like us don’t,” said Bile.
“I am really glad I got the opportunity to work with him on this profitable project.”