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CAFE LALAYS' SUCCESS STORY

Café Lalays’ Success story

 (Somaliland Diaspora Agency, Hargeisa, Dec 4th 2017) The Somaliland Diaspora Agency’s planning and research team has been conducting the ‘Somaliland Diaspora Business Investment survey’ since the 14th of October 2017. And whilst conducting the survey, we were also visiting diaspora entrepreneurs at that their place of business, to cover success stories.

Our most recent visit was to a magnificent restaurant called Cafe Lalays, which is a modernized restaurant in Hargeisa. We met there the owner of the restaurant, Su’ad Carmiye, who we are extremely thankful to, for the undivided attention and time, that she gave us.

 

 My first glance at Café Lalays had me entranced. It was the first restaurant that had me awestruck. I was taken aback by its modern day, fresh design and its ambiance was unique which made me realise that the environment of any restaurant is a huge factor when it comes to dining out. It had stunning, historical views which were attractive and left me standing there amazed.

 

Café Lalays is one of the successful diaspora businesses established in 2012. Su’ad Carmiye has 26 dedicated and loyal employees, which 6 of them are women. Su’ad is amongst a lot of diaspora returnees who never wanted to permanently live in their host country but loved to come back and establish their own business back here, in Somaliland.

 

Café Lalays provides pleasant food services, including dinner, breakfast lunch and soft food. They also deliver food, for special occasions such as, weddings, birthday dinners etc and not only provide top quality food, but they also provide superb service, by sending out their waiters to distribute the food at the special venue.

 

Although, Su’ad, emphasised the benefits of having a successful restaurant, she also expressed there are some difficulties. Sometimes the business faces some challenges, such the absence of specific ingredients in Somaliland; Su’ad, went on to say, ‘‘if we try to import raw materials, it is too expensive and some of our customers won’t be able to afford dining out with us’’.

 

She proceeded to talk about the financial difficulties her business and other businesses alike, faced and Su’ad said, ‘for the first two years you need to subsidize your business because you will most likely make a loss, rather than a gain .There are no banks that restrict you with only a few conditions to provide loans and we receive no government assistance. The government should care more for these businesses market fluctuations as many of these businesses are vital for our economy and to Somaliland’s national well-being, so I would like to see the government to not charge us tax, or give us reductions when the business is in a loss.’’

 

She stated the biggest factor that could contribute to developing her business, is to not have a large population who can afford to purchase their appetising food but rather the number of people who can purchase, healthy yet delicious food, for less; and economically, if people’s purchasing power is good, they spend money. And to any other diaspora entrepreneurs who are considering to establish a business in Somaliland, I would encourage it, and I would also advise them to stay in Somaliland for 6 months, before investing, just to understand how things work here, to network and receive sound advice from other likeminded entrepreneurs.

 

Some views of the Cafe Lalays