Eight trailblazing ladies succeeding in Sharjah’s start-up scene
Whether or not it’s balancing work and life calls for or overcoming stereotypes, ladies entrepreneurs within the area have already got a difficult sufficient time operating their companies.
Add the coronavirus pandemic into the combination and issues get much more difficult. The 2 months of lockdown and the laws on social distancing that adopted negatively impacted numerous sectors of the financial system together with hospitality, design and retail.
Eight ladies members of the Sharjah Enterprise Girls Council (SBWC) shared their experiences of how they’ve tailored their enterprise mannequin in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“One of many fast and direct impression of Covid-19 has been the sharp drop in gross sales, all the way down to greater than 50 p.c as clients stopped visiting or ordering takeaways,” says Amna Mohamed Safar, founding father of iBakery in Sharjah. She explains that she has tailored to this by opening up her menu for deliveries and takeaways when beforehand it had been a dine-in solely idea.
Amna Mohamed Safar, founding father of iBakery in Sharjah
Companies in F&B are largely reliant on footfall and so the lockdown got here as massive blow.
Sara Al Awadhi, founding father of espresso and chocolate store Khayal Boutique, felt it was essential to regain the boldness of consumers and so she sought the help of her employees to plot methods of bettering providers, lowering bills, and creating merchandise “that match with the wants of the present market”.
With many staff laid off from their jobs or furloughed, spending energy and shopper confidence have been particularly low since March.
“Low demand was a predominant problem as customers centered on requirements, not indulgence in luxurious merchandise,” says Muna Bin Barradah, the inventive director and proprietor of La Graine Advantageous Jewellery. Bin Barradah says having open and sincere communications with purchasers allowed her to maintain her firm all through this era.
Muna Bin Barradah, the inventive director and proprietor of La Graine Advantageous Jewellery
Speaking and highlighting sure merchandise over others, akin to scented candles versus flowers which weren’t in excessive demand throughout lockdown, additionally helped Meera Al Rasasi, founding father of flower store The Bloom Room, as she grew her market share even throughout these troublesome occasions.
Meera Al Rasasi, founding father of flower store The Bloom Room
“We additionally raised consciousness of the sanitising measures in place to ease the issues of our purchasers, and to rope in additional enterprise.”
Disruptions in manufacturing when factories needed to shut down as a part of the lockdown measures was one thing design corporations needed to be resourceful to beat.
“To make sure continuity of manufacturing, I started to hunt out uncooked materials from corporations overseas,” Badria Salem, founder and proprietor of Sharjah-based Abdar Jewellery, explains, including: “I additionally liaised with my enterprise companions to handle the challenges and discover options.”
Badria Salem, founder and proprietor of Sharjah-based Abdar Jewellery
Fatima Al Zaabi and Noora Al Awar, founders of Studio D.04, an architectural and inside design agency, additionally needed to be ingenious when worldwide provide chains had been disrupted.
Fatima Al Zaabi and Noora Al Awar, founders of Studio D.04
“We skilled lengthy delays in materials supply/cargo. This led us to hunt out different supplies from the native markets and have a look at extra inventive methods of utilizing supplies to attain the specified impact.”
When all else fails, having the correct thoughts set of utilizing the down-time to develop professionally is an asset. “The cancellation of exhibitions which had been an integral aspect of our communications technique with potential purchasers additionally added to our woes,” says Mariam Al Hammadi, proprietor of Maroon Design. “Though work got here to an entire halt initially, I used to be decided to face the challenges upfront. Utilizing the time to develop my private expertise, I experimented with high-quality supplies to create 25 distinctive summer season designs utilizing seven several types of materials.”
Mariam Al Hammadi, proprietor of Maroon Design
Hunaida Hassan, founding father of Hunaida Pictures, additionally noticed the slowdown of pictures jobs as a chance to develop her expertise and assume outdoors of the field. “I’ve been fuelling my ardour by taking part in a number of on-line pictures competitions and stay workshops led by specialists within the area.”
Hunaida Hassan, founding father of Hunaida Pictures
SBWC has created platforms for the sharing of concepts and peer-to-peer studying within the quickly altering market situation, serving to members navigate their approach out of the disaster together with offering options for sooner e-commerce adoption.