Roqaya Mohammed Abdullah started her business in 2006 in order to improve her standard of living and help her family financially. Roqaya makes a variety of household items such as mats, brooms, rugs, mashageb (clothing perfumer) fans, baskets and bags. Since her childhood she has been using the locally available palm fronds to create these handicrafts and has a great love for her work. She enjoys diversifying the products she makes and creating new ways of decorating them with sequins and jewels. Roqaya always strives for excellence in manufacturing a finished product. With a micro-loan she received she would like to expand her business by increasing her visibility locally and plans to organize product show in the future across the country. Ultimately she would love to see her products available internationally but she recognizes that she faces challenges in marketing. Her trust in her faith and her experience and confidence in her abilities to produce high quality products keeps her motivated. Together with SPARK’s partners at the Agri-Business Creation Programme (ABC) Roqaya has been making and sharing techniques in palm frond handicrafts with other business women to help her diversify her products. She currently employs five people to help make her products and has an annual growth of 50%.
What is your personal ambition?
To expand the project and improved the financial situation for my family and be useful for a large number of low-income poor families, also for my products to be desirable and of a high quality.
What impact do you see your business making?
The revival of our shared heritage with improvements to the products which will reduce the dependence on imported products and a higher compatibility with the environment.
How do you see the future of your business?
Allah willing, I will grow my business and vary my products more broadly with more ideas and to gain the admiration and satisfaction of all to improve my standard of living.