Now that Ramadan has started, Shadia Rasul, the next entrepreneur featured in our Meet the Founder series, is hard at work preparing sweets from her shop in Ranya. Shadia is a member of our first cohort of women in our Female Founders Fellowship, where she is working to grow her business so that she can support more women in her home city by providing jobs in her shop.
Can you give a brief introduction about yourself?
My name is Shadia Babakr Rasul, and I am 31 years old. I graduated in 2012 as a mechanical engineer, and I am married and have one girl. I like teaching and have always wanted to be a business trainer for girls and women, especially in my city, Ranya. I want be a businesswoman and have a big training center.
Can you tell us about your business? What inspired you to start it?
My business is producing sweets in a good and healthy way, namely making all types of cakes, including cake art, birthday cakes, party cakes and specialty cake. These cakes are unique and different than those in other bakeries. I now run a sweets factory in Ranya which sells and distributes sweets.
What are some of the challenges your business has faced and how have you addressed them?
At first, my challenges were that I didn’t have a place to work and didn’t have enough money to start. I always wanted to have a special place where women could make sweets and have a job because in Ranya, there weren’t many places to work. I started to think about how I could make a sweet factory. And while I liked my job, I didn’t have enough money to start, so I began my business at home. But now I have a shop that makes and sells sweets and thanks for God, I would now like to grow my business.
Why did you join the Five One Labs Female Founders Fellowship program?
Work and family and children are not barriers for learning. I have always loved both learning and teaching, and I participated in many courses about business and marketing. When I saw the Five One Labs Female Founders Fellowship, I applied, and when they called me I was happy and very interested in participating.
I thought that this would be the right place for me to grow my business, and in fact now I am growing with Five One Labs. They are helping, teaching, and supporting all the women and found us great mentorship.
What advice do you have for someone trying to start their own project/business?
When you have any idea you should have a plan in order to reach your objectives. The most important things are to believe in your idea and yourself and to do research before starting.
Images courtesy of Yalla Iraq.