Azhar arrived in Italy after a long journey and was granted humanitarian protection. Upon arriving in Italy, he was supported by the Diaconia Valdese, an association supporting migrants, which introduced him to MicroLab to learn more about becoming a micro-entrepreneur.
In Bangladesh, Azhar worked in the textile industry, where he was responsible for a department of forty people. When he arrived in Italy, he realized that technology was rapidly evolving and everyone had a mobile phone, so he decided to seize the opportunity and started thinking about setting up his own business in this sector.
Azhar attended some training courses that helped him develop the technical skills needed to work with computers and mobile phone. He also found some temporary jobs, which allowed him to save enough money to start his own micro-enterprise. MicroLab paired Azhar with a mentor, Giorgio, who in four months helped him create a simple business plan, find a small space to rent and develop a network of suppliers for his products. Azhar’s idea was to open a shop offering an express repair service for smartphones, tablets and computers along with a selection of mobile accessories. Thanks to Giorgio, he applied for a small loan to set up his business and he received €10.000 from PerMicro, an Italian microcredit agency. As part of the programme, Azhar will be supported for the first twelve months by his mentor Giorgio, who will monitor his activities and provide guidance on how to make his business sustainable.
Drawing on his experience, Azhar has one piece of advice to fellow young entrepreneurs:
"Always be determined and follow your dreams. There's always a solution if you really believe that your dreams can become reality."
MicroLab is Youth Business International's member in Italy and provides training and business development support to potential young entrepreneurs, half of which comes from foreign countries. It is part of the Youth Business Europe programme, a regional initiative supported by the Citi Foundation to help young entrepreneurs to start or grow a business.