Ahmad en Rabia make it in Tilburg

"We are brother Ahmad Alizadah (37 years) and sister Rabia Alizadah (28 years), both born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan. At Sarban, our Afghan restaurant on the Besterdring, we cook fresh every day according to our family recipes. When our guests arrive, the person who has cooked will also serve the special dishes and explain them."

Sarban's greatest success is that over the past eight years they have offered more than 200 unaccompanied minor asylum seekers a (learning) workplace and home base. For two of these young people, they were able to establish a restaurant in Utrecht after their internal training, in cooperation with Startfoundation. 


The biggest obstacle is that they prepare family recipes and strive to preserve their authenticity. The ingredients they need are often sent by private individuals from Afghanistan. When one of them is temporarily unavailable, it takes a lot of effort to get the right ingredients.

They are happy to be in the Middle Brabant region, it is a very nice place to settle. When guests come to dine with us, it feels like family and friends visiting us. 

Falling and getting up

Where will they be in five years? "Five years ago, our goal was to work hard every day and make a difference. With tasty, fresh and authentic dishes every day. A difference also in the field of employment, and also when it comes to poverty issues within our municipality. Five years ago, we did not know that we would have opened four restaurants in four cities in the Netherlands. We work with the same attitude every day and see for ourselves where we will be in 5 years' time. Our advice to starting entrepreneurs: you will certainly fall, make sure you get up stronger!"


Sarban currently participates in the BOF, the Brabant Outcome Fund. Sarban participates in the Brabant Outcomes Fund, so that they can help even more refugees. This company is just one of the five remaining companies that participate and receive help to increase their impact and make it visible through the Brabant Outcomes Fund. The province of North Brabant is the first Dutch government to have an Outcomes Fund. This is a fund in which financiers can recoup their investment if they contribute to achieving social results. Commissioner Henri Swinkels: "More and more private partners are looking to increase their impact. They are therefore also investing in the social impact. This is more important to them than the return on investment. A development that we are following with interest, and to which we want to contribute with this fund." Read more about BOF and Sarban's participation via this link.

Sarban, Besterdring 2, 5014 HL Tilburg

Expo 88 - A heart for business

This story is part of Expo 88 - A heart for business. This exhibition - with photos in both Station 88 and at the university - shows twenty different entrepreneurs who followed their education at the university or a higher vocational education institution, family businesses, start-ups, entrepreneurs of foreign origin and entrepreneurs who are guided by the Department of Entrepreneurial Advice of the Municipality of Tilburg. Companies that have existed for some time, but also relative newcomers. Photographers Erik van der Burgt and Tommy de Lange portrayed the entrepreneurs on the occasion of the opening of Station 88 on 1 March. The exhibition is made possible by contributions from Citymarketing Tilburg (Make it in Tilburg), Station 88 and Tilburg University.

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