Startup Visa Success Story: Ibrahim Bashir, Dillali
Managing inventories and invoices can become a tiring task, especially if you own a small business. To solve this problem many of them choose to move away from paper-based systems to a digital system. Founder of Dillali Ibrahim Bashir saw a chance to create something that would help to do that: “I had made use of similar platforms, but they did not address my immediate needs, which was a similar issue with other business owners I interacted with. This led me to carry out research to understand the challenge faced by micro and small businesses.” And so, a new startup Dillali (http://dillali.com) was born.
What makes Dillali useful to society? It’s a platform that enables micro-businesses to manage their invoices and inventories easily by moving away from paper-based systems to a digital system. Ibrahim says they are mostly focused on helping companies reduce losses by closing loopholes and improving their record-keeping and analysing the performance. One of the biggest challenges for micro and small businesses is access to finance, which is sometimes caused by a lack of verifiable data on business performance and activities by financial institutions. “We are confident that our platform will bridge that gap”, says the creator.
Ibrahim’s way to his first startup started in Nigeria – he got inspired by a tech entrepreneur whom he interned for during his gap year. This collaboration demystified technology and nudged Ibrahim to the startup world. How did he end up in Lithuania? This road could be called an interesting coincidence: he had two close friends who ran a company here and then he found out about the Startup Visa initiative, so Ibrahim thought – why not? He was also influenced by BREXIT as a number of fintech startups had chosen Lithuania as a preferred destination to set up and the policies of the Lithuanian Government was aimed at making the country an attractive destination for startups.
“I felt surprised by how friendly and helpful people are. People are willing to always help and that’s something we cherish a lot about Lithuania. Living here is very pleasant, affordable and quiet with excellent internet. You can get practically everything you need here despite the perceived language barrier – every other person speaks English here, which is really good for foreigners”, Ibrahim shares his experience. Although there is still quite some work to do in aligning policies and regulations in service delivery for international startups, he notices big advantages that outweighs this problem:
- It’s a great destination for bootstrappers and teams as it is a very affordable city to run a startup.
- Taxes are very low compared to other startup destinations and it is easy to connect to other cities in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
- Accelerators are springing up, making it easier to access programs and possible investments.
- It’s easy to collaborate with other startup businesses.
Ibrahim encourages to put your fears aside: “Carry out enough research, speak with potential customers and don’t be afraid of negative feedback. Start small and fail fast. Gain some kind of traction (it does not have to be money), before speaking with investors. Finally, don’t overthink it, just start!”
Feel like joining our thriving startup community? Click here to see if you’re eligible to apply for a Startup Visa in Lithuania: https://startupvisalithuania.com/#am-i-eligible