(Reuters) - His company may not rival Google or German software maker SAP yet, but Gaza-based IT entrepreneur Saady Lozon has plans to change that.
In nine years, Lozon and his partner Ahmed Abu Shaban have transformed their firm, Unit One, from a tiny outfit in a single room in the blockaded Gaza Strip into a successful business with clients in Europe, the United States and the Arab world.
They can't leave Gaza easily, but they can develop applications for Web and mobile devices online and provide international clients with data-management services, competing with firms in India and elsewhere.
"We have managed to knock a hole in the wall of the blockade," Lozon, 33, said of the company, which will soon expand to more than 60 employees from 13, the majority women. "We deliver in time, just as the client wishes."
Lozon and Abu Shaban came up with the idea after graduating with degrees in computer science. Lozon worked briefly as an IT contractor for the United Nations and quickly realized he would rather run a company of his own.
They won their first client after making a pitch via Skype and offering a free trial. They borrowed money from friends to buy computers and slowly expanded. The firm now occupies two apartments on the 5th floor of a building in a smart district of Gaza overlooking the Mediterranean. more