“We were very happy to finally have a home, but when I was a kid, there was a gap between our living standards and those of the native Norwegians. It became very clear at school trips, which I couldn’t join because they cost money, and we had none. Therefore, at a very young age, I started working”, says Aiman. To him, growing up in the countryside turned out to be fortunate, as there were many small jobs to take on. “I did everything from cleaning boots to picking strawberries and working at restaurants. All of a sudden, I had too much to do, and so I engaged my brothers and a few friends to help out with the chores”. At this point in his life, Aiman began to realise the potential of doing business.
Aiman’s road to success was, however, anything but straight. “My first real investment was in Christmas decorations”, he says. “I had saved 200 crowns, and invested it all in decorations that I tried selling at a local Christmas market. But I failed miserably – no one bought my stuff. Eventually, I took a bus to the rich area and started knocking on doors. In this one house, a big man came out, stared angrily at me and told me to f*** off and go home to Sahara. I was 11-12 years old, and it was a really hard blow. I was about to give up on the whole thing, but eventually decided to try other doors. In the end, all of my decorations were sold”.