Entrepreneurial University of Westminster almuna Khadija Abdelhamid, who studied Business Management – Entrepreneurship, is working with one of her mentors Julian Hall, to run a course designed to enable Muslim women to set up and run their own businesses. We caught up with her to find out more…
“In the Muslim community,” Khadija explains, “women don’t have the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship. So, when Julian came to me with the idea of classes for this untapped market, I thought it was a brilliant idea.”
Helping entrepreneurial Muslim women to run their own business
The classes – starting August 20th – will cover everything Muslim women need to know to start running their own business, from how to apply for funding through to promoting their companies through social media. And they’re open to entrepreneurial Muslim women of all ages, at all stages of life. “So if you are a mother, if you’re married or not, it doesn’t matter. If you want to open your own business of any kind, this is for you.”
Khadija is also a YouTuber. Her channel is called Dose of Inspiration. Here, she posts videos designed to inspire and support young people who – as she did – are having a tough time. “When I was in high school”, she explains, “I went through a lot of bullying and depression. Eventually, I had counselling, which helped, but when it was coming to an end, my counsellor offered anti-depressants. I declined, because of the side-effects. So, the counsellor said ‘the thing you need to do now is focus on personal development.”
The inspiration for Dose of Inspiration
By reading books, Khadija started learning about how the mind works, and focused on what it takes to be successful. This was what inspired her to start Dose of Inspiration. “I thought to myself, if I could come through my mental health problems without using anti-depressants, could I inspire others to follow their dreams? And that’s why I chose the name too, because it was the doses of personal development that helped me.”
A former member of Brent Youth Parliament, Khadija has two mentors, Julian Hall and Elena Noel. While Julian’s focus is entrepreneurship – he goes into schools to teach children from the age of seven about the skills needed to succeed in business – Elena specialises in mediation, conflict resolution and is a highly-skilled Restorative Justice practitioner. Her mentors have made a huge difference to Khadija’s life.
“Most of the things I’ve been blessed with in life have come through Elena. She’s given me the most amazing opportunities, like going to Dubai and meeting the Royal Family, being in meetings with CEOs. She’s opened doors for me in a couple of months that would have taken me ten years if I’d been trying by myself.”
How to find a mentor
Khadija met Elena through Brent Youth Parliament, and met Julian through Elena. But her advice for other young people seeking a mentor is leverage your network and search online. “Be entrepreneurial about it,” she says.“First you need to decide what kind of mentor you want. So, if you want a business mentor, think about what kind of business you want to start. Then, review your network. Do you know anyone you could ask to mentor you? Do your connections know anyone? And if you’re not signed up already, sign up to LinkedIn. Then read some people’s profiles and don’t be scared to ask them!”
To sign up for the Muslim Female Entrepreneurship Class, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read Khadija’s article: How Relationships Supported Me Through Depression