When I was 12, my father decided to open up his own business. He decided that he would open a pizza place, and take a break from being a full-time civil engineering superstar. He managed to invest all his savings into making his dream pizza restaurant come to life. However, it was not working out. After a year of hard work and effort put into the business, he decided to put a pin on his entrepreneurial ventures, and go back to his old specialty.
Watching my father work as a solo entrepreneur in trying to make his visions come to life was a true inspiration for me as a kid. Seeing him learn from his mistakes, and find the will to thrive off of them throughout the last couple of years is something that amazes me. I have always looked up to him; because whoever said owning your own business is easy, does not know the first thing about entrepreneurship.
As my first co-op work term, I was matched with a local start-up company here in Ottawa. Thawrih, an e-commerce platform that locally manufactures sports hijabs and sports turbans for the Muslim and Sikh community. As well as creating modest and inclusive activewear to those who have religious and cultural obligations. I get to work as a communications officer and learn everything there is to learn about running a business. I have been in touch with various companies, and university bookstores, as well as aiding the company gain more traction through social media outlets. I also got the chance to watch one of the co-founders present to students at a local middle school here in Ottawa to help shed light to the younger generation on what it is like to run a business in today’s day and age. It was such a heartwarming experience to see the Muslim and Sikh kids feel true joy knowing that Thawrih is doing everything possible to help those marginalized by the sports industry.
For the past couple of weeks, I have been working with the CEO and co-founder of the company, Sarah Abood, who I have learned to respect and admire. Watching such a strong female figure lead and overcome all barriers that come her way has shown me the real struggles a woman in the business industry must face every day on their journey to success. I have also gotten the chance to work with Sami, who is the CBO of the company, and watching this power duo work so hard, is a true inspiration. They have shown me the ins-and-outs of the business world in a span of two weeks, and I have yet to learn so much more. This job will play such an important role in my future success and as a business major, it will help develop my skills refining my true objective for future successes.
They have given me a glimpse of what kind of struggles my father must have faced during his experience of entrepreneurship, and all three of them have shown me how hard work and determination really pays off. I’m so excited to keep learning and growing with my Thawrih family, and to apply the knowledge I gain into my everyday life.
I would like to thank RBC COOP and the University of Ottawa for this opportunity and I am grateful to be a part of this amazing program!