We have all, directly or indirectly, seen and felt the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on global economies and local businesses, from price changes and store closures to mass layoffs. As businesses continue to navigate and evolve through the myriad of changes brought on by the pandemic, Charles Darwin’s words continue to ring true today: “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
There was a time when all babies used cloth diapers and were born at home. While our world is characterized by technology and rapid change, there is a movement towards reclaiming natural, organic ways of the past.
For many Muslim parents part of their job includes taking care of the world their children will grow up in. Bumbini is a Canadian, Ottawa-based cloth diaper company that also offers a large selection of environmentally friendly and organic products for babies and moms.
Mubeen Patel is the founder of North Accent, a watch company distinguished by their Arabic-Indic numeral dial. He was born and raised in Oshawa, Ontario, where his family immigrated to from India in the early ’80s.
He only moved out of Oshawa about 2 years ago. He has a Bachelors of Commerce degree and currently works full-time at a 9-5 job until North Accent takes off inshaAllah (God willing). At the moment, he spends a good portion of his evenings and weekends running all of the operations and functions for North Accent with help from his wife for conventions and trade shows.
With a name that sounds like a fatwa on footwear, Halal Socks is a company that makes colourful, festive, Muslim-themed socks that aim to celebrate Islam and fight Islamophobia. Founded by Toronto couple Sherry and Sara Qureshy, the brand was launched into the international limelight last year when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wore their Eid Mubarak socks to the Pride Parade (the parade happened to fall on Eid ul-Fitr). The story was picked up by news outlets around the world and Halal Socks got a publicity boost that a start-up can only dream of.
When Ahmad Iqbal moved to North America, he was surprised by this culture’s bathroom habits. A Pakistani Canadian who grew up in the Middle East and Asia, he was used to washing with water after using the toilet. Seeing as this is the religious requirement for all Muslims, bidets are staples of most modern Muslim homes and are even common in countries like South Korea and Japan. However, they are not commonly found in North American households.
But Ahmad hopes to change that. He founded Nadeef (clean in Arabic), a company which sells easy to install hand-held bidets, offering a simple and affordable solution for anyone in North America who wants a more hygienic and environmentally friendly alternative to toilet paper.
Muslim Link interviewed Ahmad about Nadeef Bidet and the lessons he has learned from his experience in business that he hopes will help other aspiring entrepreneurs.
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.