Ghada Salem, founder of parenting website mumsinbahrain.com told us about her experience.
First off tell us a little bit about you?
I’m 33 years old and have two kids, Omar, who is six and Ali, four months. I have more than ten years’ experience of running online businesses in the Middle and Far East regions. With a strong entrepreneurial flair, I hold a BSc (Hons) in mass communications from Cairo University and undertook post graduate studies in E-commerce from AMA in the USA.
What were you doing before you had children, did your previous career help in the setting up of Mums in Bahrain (MIB)?
I was working as business development officer in an online portal in Egypt. My previous work helped me a lot in setting up Mums in Bahrain as I had experienced setting up websites, creating the content, amending the website design etc.
Where did the idea come from and how did you go about it?
I moved to Bahrain in 2007 and I was expecting my first son, searching online to find hospitals recommendations, maternity shops, I found nothing. After I had my son I needed more information and again there was nothing online, till I met my business partner Claire Willates, she was setting up a webpage for listing playgroups in Bahrain and I was setting up a Facebook page to create a forum for the mums and mums-to-be to share their knowledge, experiences and recommendations. Together we sat up MIB to be a central point for information sharing for parents, Mums in Bahrain is also running two interactive services on the website, Ask the doctor: A completely free service to all our Mums in Bahrain members. You can ask our network of doctors at the Royal Bahrain Hospital any health-related questions. Answers are given within 48 hours. Classifieds: A free service for both buyers and sellers, an online window for the mums buy and sell second-hand goods which is also helping mums running home-based businesses to reach to their target market at no cost.
You now also have Mums in Business, you offer a consulting and networking service, is this a popular function in Bahrain?
In 2011 I set up Mums in Business, as a networking opprtunity for mumpreneurs who live in Bahrain and have their own business or are looking forward to setting up a new business, the group runs different educational workshops such as social media training and marketing etc, we also run souqs/bazaars for the mums who run small/home-based businesses to display their products and services to Mums in Bahrain members, and that helps them to spread the word about their products and services. We also run business consultations for mums who would like to start up a new business.
What advice would you give to mums thinking of setting up their own business?
Have patience and believe in your self, and manage your time in a good way that helps in setting up your business while being a mum.
Did you find it hard, what were the pitfalls and how did you overcome them?
No I enjoyed it, it was a bit hard to collect the content of the website and make sure data is up to date, the current content has been gathered through social networking and through the ongoing parenting topics discussions on the MIB Facebook page which covers children’s activities, child-friendly dining, schools and medical establishments, parenting advice, tips on moving to Bahrain, and much more.
Any further expansion plans?
I am planning to set up a youtube channel for MIB where we feature live cooking episodes, parenting discussion circles, healthy talk shows, kids performing traditional rhythms from all over the globe and more!
Anything else to add?
We are currently putting together the fourth edition of our successful Mums in Bahrain Recipe Book called “Around the World with MIB” featuring 16 recipes from different countries of the globe submitted by MIB members, the book will be out September 1 and it is free.
Check out Ghada’s site at www.mumsinbahrain.net or on Facebook at Mums in Bahrain.