MAWJA: From a Group of Friends to Business Partners in a Successful Rising Company
MAWJA is a digital media company emerging in the Libyan market as one of the most aspiring companies, owned and run by a group of creative and talented young individuals.
MAWJA is participating in Stream business acceleration programme – which’s a project funded by the UK government, implemented by Expertise France and sponsored by Libyana- after graduating from Stream’s incubation programme with great progress and achievements.
It all started back in June 2019, when Yaseen Algiloushi, one of MAWJA’s 6 founders got tired of being employed in the wrong companies. He had worked as a graphics designer in three big media companies, and although he was doing a hard job (occasionally staying up all night), he wasn’t getting the appreciation he deserved so he thought there must be another way to better use his talent.
Yaseen met with five of his college friends and suggested they start their own business given the fact that all of them were talented in different fields related to media. They all got enthusiastic about the idea and they started discussing the name of the company, the role of each one, the office they were going to rent, the capital they would raise to kick off the company, pay the rent and buy some equipment. They decided to name the company (Wave) because they felt that it can relate to their vision of building a company that always comes up with fresh and renewed ideas.
They rented a small office in Hai Alandalus in Tripoli, and since they were all still students, paying the rent was a challenge for them, but they continued to work and they received their first clients there, this allowed them after a few months to buy a new laptop and replace the old one they were using, “our first laptop was so old that its colours weren’t accurate, after the design was completed we would transfer it to multiple mobile devices to make sure we used the right tones ” Yaseen explained.
Although they were doing a good job at this point, none of them had any management or financial experience, and the work sometimes felt random and unorganized so they knew they had to do something about it if they wanted Wave to grow and compete in the market, they came across Stream’s call for application for the business incubation programme to support new start-ups so they decided to apply.
After being accepted in Stream incubation programme, the team cancelled the rent for their previous office and they started working and meeting their clients in Stream, they started saving money to buy new equipment and they stopped worrying about paying the rent. Also, the programme has helped the team to have a business mindset “ If it wasn’t for the legal and financial workshops that we attended in Stream, our business would be in chaos, we had no experience on how to manage the company financially or how to design the company’s hierarchy, Stream’s programme was a great help for us ” Yaseen explained, they met a lot of new clients through Stream’s community and the fact that they meet them in Stream’s building made Wave/MAWJA’s team feel more confident and professional which helped them close more deals. They also gained a great experience in marketing which helped them promote their work.
They also engaged widely with their fellow start-ups in Stream, they helped in designing a good number of visual identities, websites and catalogues for other participating start-ups which gained them more experience and widened their network as well as their portfolio.
As Stream was trying to help their participating start-ups get the exposure they needed, they posted about Wave in their social media pages, and from there a lot of voices were raised. It turned out there was another media company with the same name who had started working before them, the team didn’t know about it when they decided to name their company Wave, “it was completely our fault, we should have looked at the existing companies in the Libyan market and made sure this name wasn’t used but we didn’t! ” Yaseen declared. At first, the team was so attached to the name and weren’t open to changing it at all, “ I was so against changing our name because I thought the name that we started with defined us forever” abdulmenem Aldeeki said, co-founder of MAWJA.
After a lot of convincing from the Stream team, and to avoid confusion and future inconvenience, they finally decided to change their name to MAWJA which is the Arabic translation of Wave, they decided to start from the beginning and build a new customer base with their new brand and identity, now the team is glad they did so since the name grew on them and people started to only recognise and remember them as MAWJA, they even registered their business and brand with this new name.
Despite the fact that some of the team members were displaced for months because of the security situation in Tripoli, and also because of the Covid-19 curfew which caused them to work from a room shared with a large number of family members with a lot of power cuts and nowhere else to go, they supported each other regardless and continued to work and thrive,
MAWJA’s determination to succeed and hard work have paid off. Today, MAWJA had increased its employees as the demand for their work increased, They’re now focusing on producing creative promotional videos as they have divided the company into three different departments, each one has its employees and responsibilities, they had worked for more than 38 customers and designed 7 websites over the past few months alone. They worked for successful brands like Organic Land and Grand Libya Optic and have partnered up with popular Libyan TV channels like Salam, they’re looking at some investments opportunities and they’re aspiring to continue to grow and develop their skills to an international quality that will allow them to produce their own shows and work with international clients.
You can have a look at MAWJA’s website and Facebook page.
Mawja founding team:
Yaseen Algiloushi – Founder/chairman
Abdulmenem Aldeki – Co-founder
Mohamed Algomati – Head of Development
Abdulwahed Algiloushi – Head of production
Ahmed Drera – Head of Development/Web Designer
Salem Salama – Accountant