A great idea can be hard to come by. But when you find one you may wonder how you’ve been living without it.
Take, for instance, the numerous Apps which you use on a daily basis. Have you ever used Uber? Snapchat? Or maybe you just use an App to confirm where the Qibla is?
So if you are wondering where your next great idea is, look no further than a room full of creative innovators.
Across the country, there are new initiatives been established by budding entrepreneurs in need of the right support to flourish.
‘Startup Ummah’ is one such enterprise seeking to bring together local talent in the community to discuss, share and network.
Launched by Houssam Bizri the initiative started in 2017 and will travel across Australia and New Zealand.
Houssam Bizri has a strong academic background in inspiring and nurturing young minds. Having a Bachelor of Adult Education, Master in Business and Technology and Master in e-Learning he has an excellent grasp on how to stay relevant in the digital age and what it takes to start a successful startup.
Houssam said he would frequently attend workshop and events on entrepreneurship and began to ask himself the same question, why is the Muslim community not being represented in these spaces.
I started thinking: “Where’s us? Where’s our talent heading? Realising this deficiency in the market, he set out to change the landscape for young people.
“I wanted to create a platform to showcase local talent,” says Houssam Bizri.
Utilising a storytelling narrative, his event has helped to encourage hundreds of young people to learn from successful entrepreneurs and their experiences.
The official launch of their Melbourne program ‘Deen & Dunya: The Blossoming Islamic Startup Scene – Across the world’ during the weekend 3-4 February 2018 at the Islamic Museum of Australia in Thornbury focused on supporting a generation of young, tech-savvy, faithful Muslims to find creative solutions to diverse problems.
Special guest Chris Abdur-Rahman Blauvelt a Muslim America entrepreneur and CEO of LaunchGood explained his experience as a successful crowd-funding platform that inspires and supports Muslims globally with creating their own startup projects.
Established in 2013, LaunchGood has helped raise over $30 million for more than 3,000 projects across 100 countries and has been recognised for their impact and excellence with the Islamic Economy Award in Dubai and the American Muslim Consumer Conference Entrepreneurship award, as well as coverage on CNN, Al-Jazeera, and more.
His enterprise has helped fund successful start-up organisations in Australia such as OnePath Network, One4kids and Islamophobia Watch, all of which have blossomed into vital community organisations since.
His advice for young people is “don’t do it alone.” He explains that young people often become used to do things on their own. But to get far, your going to “need mentors, teammates; your going to need to trust people and humble yourself to hire people that are smarter than you”.
He encouraged, “You need to get in an environment where you have a lot of support to grow”.
Inspired by his parent both of whom were entrepreneurs, and through his travels, Chris developed a keen interest to inspire the Muslim community, especially in the area of social entrepreneurship.
Yet, he says that the best piece of mentoring advice came from his mother, that said whatever project you work on “give it three years”. This is because, some projects were slow, to begin with, steady off after the second year and then either succeed or stagnated.
He therefore suggests, a three year period of commitment as a good indicator to test whether an idea actually merits value. Most importantly though, he mentions is the importance of trusting in Allah.
But, overall Chris says that he is “optimistic” about the Ummah, we are on the cusp something special and that this generation of young budding entrepreneurs has the “bright future” ahead.
Houssam Bizri is also encouraged, he says “young people want to create” and learn. But most importantly, they just “need their voices to be heard”.
So the question is, have you got a great idea that needs some nurturing to grow?
What will you create in 2018?
Subscribe to their website: startupummah.com.
You can even book a free session by having a virtual meeting with a StartUp Ummah consultant. https://secure.scheduleonce.com/startupummah