The fledgling Safe Eat startup of young entrepreneur Siham Meftahi is humming along, although the past year hasn't been without challenges.
“Lately, we stopped the orders to prepare for new kinds of collective catering,” Meftahi told Maghreb News Wire on Nov. 2.
Meftahi's program started in 2016 and has quickly grown, offering home-cooked food to locals who may be more used to fast food options. The business' Facebook page shows off part of a smorgasbord of healthy, high-protein dishes, flower-decorated cookies, and more, including traditional regional recipes that offer an authentic flavor of the local community.
In September, Meftahi explained the process of starting out the business with just two cooks, including doing reconnaissance for market research and discovering how to maintain her startup to offer culinary choices to the community. Now, Meftahi said her company is looking to do more research.
“We are about to study the market,” she said, “but there are financial constraints that arise.”
Meftahi mentioned the challenge of seeking startup capital.
“I think there is a lack of funding,” Meftahi said.
The money problems, she said, are more than just an inconvenience: shortfalls are stopping the business from expanding or pursuing new initiatives. More money would help to get the business to the next level.
“It pushes us to extend the date of several actions,” Meftahi said.
Nonetheless, Meftahi remains dedicated to her original purpose of delivering high-quality food to customers. In a September interview, Meftahi said it’s the resolve and resourcefulness of local women that inspired her to start her business.
Startup work can be difficult in a place like Morocco, where figures on inflation and unemployment can seem less than promising. But Meftahi and other entrepreneurs are pointing to positive signals, too, such as signs that the government may be opening up to renewed support for small business.