[InnovAgroWoMed] Inaam Abu Musallam, “Make a Wish” founder: "I will open all the doors to succeed"
If you take a tour in “Make a Wish” page on Facebook, you will be attracted by the pictures of meals, colors, page designs and perhaps your attraction will force you to even order one of these meals. Everything started when her son needed a diet that included healthy meals to help him lose weight. She started preparing these meals and snacks for him at home. These meals were admired by his friends who asked her to prepare similar meals. That is when she decided to start her own food-processing project.
In the city of Ramallah, West Bank, Palestine, the 47-year-old Inaam Abu Musallam began her project "Make a wish" in 2018 in her modest home kitchen with a small budget, taking her first step in building her own project, and when asked about the secret of choosing the name "Make a Wish" for her project she said: "My kitchen is good for those who are in need of a diet as well as for vegetarians whom can't find meals that suit them easily, they wish and I make their wishes a reality."
Before launching her project, Inaam was always passionate about cooking and preparing healthy food for her children, her goal was to turn the everyday meals into a healthy meal composed of natural ingredients that vary from vegetables and natural fruits. When she started her project, she tried hard to use environmentally friendly tools and materials such as carton bags and glass cans.
In addition to the diet meals, Inaam produces other body-building meals under a subscription program, and she provides a number of nutrition centers with these meals. Furthermore, Inaam produces vegetarian meals, as well as pickles, jam, dark chocolate, various kinds of salads and traditional Palestinian specialties. She makes these products from A to Z, from producing, canning, and packaging, to the designs, photoshoot and marketing via social media. She also seeks to create her own application.
Besides her ownership of the project, Inaam is also active in voluntary work such as teaching English to students. She is also active in charities and community activities as she attends workshops, seminars and participates in various community events.
She has faced all kinds of obstacles but she doesn't give up the fight!
In her journey as an entrepreneur, which has just begun, Inaam admits that she faced all kinds of obstacles, starting from the inability to obtain proper financing, which made it necessary for her project to start with modest capital; she had to use her household equipment, and that's not all.
Living in a country suffering from the Israeli occupation "does not make things any easier". "Once I had to go to Hebron - south of the West Bank - to buy some materials for my products. I had to stand at the Israeli Qalandia check point for more than 4 hours; while the road takes no more than 2.5 hours."
Inaam does not want to give up in spite of the closures and barriers limiting her ability to market her products in other Palestinian cities, as well as her ability to participate in exhibitions, or even to get the necessary ingredients for her meals.
Day after day, Inaam is trying hard to improve her skills as much as possible, "I am always looking for courses and trainings that help me improve the quality of my products, design and market my products. I always try to seize the opportunities to develop my project, because I know that my success in my project is a success for my family and my daughters. “On my way to success, I face a lot of frustrations, but I always insist to keep going”, she said.
Inaam's project at the time of COVID-19: Does anyone have any options?
The pandemic has affected Inaam like other entrepreneurs in different economic sectors and countries. The closures and customers' fear caused sales to decline which made many entrepreneurs suffer from large losses. All were afraid that the virus could get out even in a juice cup.
"Because of the Corona virus, I lost all my subscribers of diet programs. In addition to this, I also experienced the closing of the nutrition centers that I was under contract with, and more importantly, I was unable to get out and buy the ingredients I needed. This decreased my sales to zero at the beginning of the crisis. I can say that the pandemic is a disaster on our small projects, but as life starts to return to normal, I started trying to compensate for my loss because I knew the situation will be long and I have to adapt to our surroundings." she said.
Despite the obstacles and the fact that "Make a Wish" is still in the beginning, it seems that it has all the elements of success that will enable it to prove itself in the market. Inaam who wanted to realize the wishes of her clients is also working to achieve her wish in developing her project.
Although she feels she needs financial resources for machinery, a production team and her small factory, she says that she will not give up and will strive to seize the opportunities that will help her boost her business and try to open all doors to make her wish come true… The InnovAgroWoMed project would in turn be delighted to make the wishes of Inaam and the women who work and invest in the agri-food sector a reality full of success, sustainability and empowerment!