ILM Weekend, a “hackathon” for Muslim Canadian entrepreneurs, debuted in Toronto this past January.
Working over two days, with access to some of the top mentors in the fields of entrepreneurship and technology, teams of contestants developed innovative ideas and products to address problems Muslims currently face.
Muslim Link spoke with ILM Weekend's first prize winner Davoud Sarfaraz who worked with his team to develop the idea for SeerahBOX, an innovative product designed to help Muslim children learn about their faith in a fun and interactive way.
Anyone who has ever sought out post-secondary education knows it can be a struggle to find the perfect program. One team of young Muslims from Ottawa is changing the scene with a new website aimed at helping students find the Canadian university that’s right for them.
Apportal.ca is the brainchild of Abdul Amoud. A Merivale High School graduate currently enrolled at the University of Ottawa, he recalls how his own path to post-secondary education was not so smooth.
Nour Kaiss Soliman is one of Canada’s top hijab bloggers in the digital space. Currently, she is the CEO of two companies, one of which is a new mobile app company called Souqina, set to launch this May 2016. In the past, Nour has worked as a brand representative, community speaker and entrepreneur. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree after double majoring in Religion and Middle Eastern Civilization and minoring in History and Politics from the University of Toronto, and got into her creative pursuits pretty soon after graduation. She has amazing fans from all over the world and she also owns her own hijab company, ELLE-vation.
For 21 years, Fatima Omar Khamissa was a victim of an abusive marriage which destroyed all the hopes and dreams she had for herself. She took her five children and left that marriage and today, Fatima is the the CEO of Spiritual Biz Moms, leading provider of training and coaching for women who feel stuck, frustrated, and tired of living lives without satisfaction, meaning, and progress. The trauma of abuse, apartheid and violence was not able to break Fatima’s spirit and as an international best selling Author, Fatima is sharing her message to inspire, motivate, and lead women all over the world to continual growth in both personal and professional life. Women choose Spiritual Biz Moms because Fatima is not “just another coach”, instead she’s a real business strategist and thought leader who creates custom plans for you that details practical strategies for overcoming obstacles to unlock your greatest abilities.
Zehra Abbas is the Founder and President of YTGA (Youth Troopers for Global Awareness), a youth-led non-profit organization mobilizing and empowering young people for domestic and international social justice through campaigns, workshops and the arts. Zehra and the YTGA team launched a social enterprise in Mississauga called Studio.89, comprised of a fair-trade cafe, artademic resource centre, and community space. The cafe encourages ethical and healthy consumerism while hosting numerous community events and initiatives. The artademic centre offers arts, academic and lifestyle workshops as well as free resources and entrepreneurial opportunities. Zehra and her team have combined their multi-faceted talents to create the unique and dynamic Studio.89 model which facilitates both local and global action.
Founder ofDeservia Realty, Inc. and Deservia Financial Corporation, Farhana Kabir started her Real Estate career in 2003 and by applying her expertise and marketing knowledge to real estate, she rose to become one of the top salesperson in her company by 2006. An entrepreneur at heart who has owned and operated several businesses from a payday-loan company to two successful real estate franchises, Farhana continues to build an extremely successful career with her relationship-oriented approach to her clients.
Shahed Amanullah is co-founder of Affinis Labs, a Northern Virginia startup incubator that focuses on businesses with positive social impacts in global Muslim communities. Through Affinis Labs, he helps to organize global hackathons to create social impact businesses as well as craft social media strategies for NGOs and governments that combat extremist narratives. As co-founder and director of the lab, Shahed Amanullah helps manage the development and launch of incubated initiatives and mentors portfolio companies to help them accelerate and grow.
For many people, the first thought that comes to mind about Palestine is tragic conflict not intricate embroidery. It is an unfortunate reality, but one budding Canadian business is slowly changing that.
Motarrazat is an Ottawa based clothing company started by Palestinian Canadian Manal Abusheikha. Having immigrated to Canada from Jordan with her husband and children in 2001, she left behind most of her extended family and friends. In the beginning, the couple started a small business and sought to finish school. Manal’s husband, Waleed, soon graduated in project management and she enjoyed looking through his textbooks which prompted her to also get her masters in the same field. Her interest in business led her to open her own day care and later on, her very own clothing company.
Mode-ste, Canada’s largest and fastest growing Modest Fashion brand. started a few years ago, when Aicha Chtourou and her mother Hong, a master seamstress, started a small women’s clothier out of their basement in Montreal.