Moroccan Hospitality: Entrepreneurial Gems & Lessons Learned From a Student's Trip
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Moroccan Hospitality: Entrepreneurial Gems & Lessons Learned From a Student's Trip

Entrepreneurship
Morocco
Hospitality
GlobalEntrepreneurship
Travel

Summary:

  • Christen Joy Smith, a UNLV Hospitality Management student, shares her insights from a trip to Morocco as part of the Lee Business School's Global Entrepreneurship Experience (GEE).

  • Smith highlights several entrepreneurial ventures that exemplified Moroccan hospitality and provided valuable lessons in business practices.

  • Key takeaways include the power of social media marketing, the importance of personalization in customer service, the benefits of leveraging a unique niche in the market, and the value of creating unforgettable experiences.

  • Smith also emphasizes the importance of women in entrepreneurship and the role of passion and love in driving success.

Postcards from Morocco: Entrepreneurial Gems & Lessons Learned

Christen Joy Smith, a UNLV Hospitality Management student, shares her insights from a trip to Morocco as part of the Lee Business School's Global Entrepreneurship Experience (GEE). She highlights several entrepreneurial ventures that exemplified Moroccan hospitality and provided valuable lessons in business practices.

Chefchaouen - The Power of Instagram

In the Instagram-famous blue city of Chefchaouen, Smith encountered a juice stand owner who capitalized on the tourist influx by creating an attractive photo backdrop in front of his shop. This clever strategy, coupled with freshly squeezed orange juice, created a memorable experience for visitors. Key Lesson: The power of social media marketing in attracting customers.

Moulay Idriss - Hospitality as an Act of Service

A family-run guesthouse in Moulay Idriss offered Smith an unforgettable level of hospitality. From freshly brewed mint tea upon arrival to carrying luggage to rooms, the family demonstrated a genuine commitment to service. Key Lesson: Family-owned businesses can excel in hospitality by prioritizing guest comfort and personalizing experiences.

Meknes - The Art of Personalization

In Meknes, Smith encountered a silver jewelry shop where the attentive staff offered personalized recommendations and negotiated prices. This personalized approach and genuine care created a positive buying experience. Key Lesson: Building strong customer relationships through personalization can lead to successful sales.

Fez - Quality Craftsmanship as a Niche

Fez's historic leather tannery provided Smith with an example of leveraging a unique niche in the market. A shop owner showcased the high-quality craftsmanship of authentic leather goods, attracting tourists seeking unique and handcrafted items. Key Lesson: Finding a niche market and emphasizing quality can command premium prices.

Merzouga - Bucket List Experiences

A desert camp in Merzouga offered Smith an unforgettable camel ride across the sand dunes, complete with photography services and traditional Moroccan entertainment. Key Lesson: Entrepreneurship can involve creating memorable experiences that appeal to specific desires and leave lasting positive emotions.

Ait Benhaddou - Women in Entrepreneurship

Smith encountered a community-run teahouse, Tawesna, managed by women. This initiative provided a source of income for local women while offering visitors an authentic experience. Key Lesson: Women can bring a unique perspective to entrepreneurship and contribute to community development.

Marrakech - Passion and Love

Smith met a local coffee vendor in Marrakech who brewed coffee in the hot sand, emphasizing his passion for the product. Key Lesson: Successful entrepreneurs are passionate about their work and share that joy with others.

Beyond the Businesses

Smith highlights the cultural immersion and valuable lessons she gained from interacting with these Moroccan entrepreneurs. As a Hospitality Management major, she gained insights into quality service, and as a Global Entrepreneurship minor, she learned that any business can create an inviting and peaceful space for customers.

The GEE program at UNLV provides students with a four-year curriculum focused on building entrepreneurial skills and scaling businesses.

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