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From Hardships to Triumph: Yao Ange’s Unwavering Pursuit of Success

byHigh Atlas Foundation
onJanuary 30, 2023

Ange explains his project to jury members, FSJES-USMBA in Fes, October 2022. Photo: HAF

Yao Ange’s story is one of triumph and resilience. Against all odds, he has never wavered in his ambition to achieve his dreams, and through sheer determination and hard work, he is finally seeing them come to fruition.

Growing up in a modest family, Ange knew that education was his path to a better future. But when his father, the family’s sole breadwinner, tragically passed away shortly before his trip to Morocco, Ange was left to fend for himself. Nevertheless, he never gave up. He worked tirelessly to support himself, taking on multiple jobs and selling books while studying at university in Côte d’Ivoire.

When he arrived in Morocco to pursue higher education, he faced yet another set of challenges. Working in call centers while studying made it difficult for him to attend classes, but Ange took advantage of the new restrictive circumstances during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. He took online classes and worked remotely, and his hard work paid off when he graduated with honors in 2021 and was accepted into several master’s programs. He ultimately decided to pursue a master’s in business management at Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University in Fes.

Ange’s ultimate goal is to open his hair salon, “Black and White,” that would be inclusive, with a store and restaurant offering food of sub-Saharan African tradition for takeout, thereby catering to migrant communities living in the Fez-Meknes region. Knowing that this would be no easy feat, he joined the Engaging Underserved Communities in the Fez Region through Legal Aid, Awareness-Raising, and Socio-Economic Integration program, which provided support, training, and mentorship for young entrepreneurs.

With the guidance and support of the experts he worked with during the course of his involvement in the program, Ange developed a well-formulated and solid business plan. He also had the opportunity to present his project to potential investors and secure funding. Today, his dream is slowly becoming a reality thanks to his determination, entrepreneurial spirit, and the skills he acquired and honed during the program. Ange is now in the process of opening his first “Black and White” store, which is undergoing renovation as of January 2023, in the Atlas neighborhood of Fes.

Ange obtains the certificate of completion of training and coaching in entrepreneurship with partners and jury members – FSJES- USMBA in Fes – October 2022. Photo: HAF

“As a beneficiary of the training and accompaniment program, I am eternally grateful for the impact it has had on my professional development,” says Ange. “The knowledge and skills I acquired through the program have been instrumental in my success, and the guidance and resources provided have been invaluable. I would wholeheartedly recommend this program to anyone seeking to advance their professional growth.”

Ange’s story is a testament to the human spirit and the power of perseverance. He is an inspiration, showing us that with hard work and determination, anything is possible. Despite encountering obstacles on his journey, he has never given up and has proven himself to be a shining example of a young entrepreneur with great potential to go far and achieve much in his life.

Mentorship and accompaniment toward the realization of income-generating projects were part of the program “Engaging Underserved Communities in the Fez Region through Legal Aid, Awareness-Raising, and Socio-Economic Integration,” which was implemented by the High Atlas Foundation in partnership with the Faculty of Legal, Economic, and Social Sciences at Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University in Fez and with funding from the U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). The program aimed to elevate the status of youth, women, and underrepresented communities by providing pro-bono legal aid and entrepreneurship training as a means to engage civically and economically.