Young entrepreneurs take extracurricular endeavours to market
Business students from Canadian University Dubai (CUD) are turning their creative talents into entrepreneurial ventures with the launch of a variety of unique, self-made products at the University’s market day events. Challenged to develop and grow a new business concept, students have combined their academic knowledge with their extracurricular endeavours to unveil innovations across a range of products and services, from sustainable fashionwear to organic aromatherapy.
Among the talented students sharing their creations is 20 year-old marketing major, Ramsha Rehan. Following her passion for baking, Ramsha has established Cayke&co, offering a variety of home-baked goods to local households. She revealed, “Being a student, it was difficult to choose a full-time activity and so I decided to go with baking cakes as I could get support from my parents.
“It has been a great experience, and as a result, I’ve decided to continue with the same activity with an organized setup. Most of the things I’ve learnt in my university studies have helped and guided me to make decisions, handle certain situations and deal with customers. I’m so glad for what I have gained in the past year and all the things I’ve learnt. This has genuinely been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”
She continued, “We are planning to diversify the products over time and make sure Cayke&co appeals to new clients. Most importantly, developing a franchise is the ambition for the future, so that it allows us to expand the market reach. I’m still learning so much about my work and myself that I’m humbled by how far I have to go.”
Also embarking on the entrepreneurial journey alongside her studies is 20 year-old accountancy and finance major, Riya Sawlani, founder of aromatherapy products business, Vaya & Co. She revealed, “Candle making was a hobby, I loved trying out new scents and designs, wanting to make different and natural candles to the ones we usually see in the market.
“Vaya means wow in Spanish and good energy in Sanskrit and is also a combination of my mom’s and dad’s names and that is where I drew my inspiration. My mom always encouraged me to embrace my creative flair whereas my dad has been my role model as an entrepreneur himself. Vaya & Co is unique because our candles are one-of-a-kind, they are hand-poured, customizable, organic and are completely safe to inhale, in contrast to some other candles we see in the market.
She concluded, “I do hope to put Vaya on the map and diversify in the future from candles to flowers, to personalized gifting, with the ultimate aim to be a sustainable, organic and luxury brand that is everyone’s go to for their gifting and aromatherapy needs.”
Exploring a different dimension of the sustainable market are 23 year-old international business major, Ahmad Aljasmi, and his co-founder and former CUD student, Abdallah Ahmed Baswaid. Together, Ahmad and Abdallah have established fashion brand, AQUIRD, which aims to increase sustainability in clothing production.
Ahmad explained, “Both of us discovered an early passion for owning our own clothing brand and so we decided to take the step of investing our savings into launching AQUIRD. A little over eight months on we have customers of all ages, and the business has surpassed our expectations in terms of growth and value. Our long term goal is to produce all our clothes in sustainable fabrics, to expand and grow to build a successful international brand, and to give back to the community.”
Organizing the market day events were President of the Student Business Society, Madhulika Karthi, and Student Council President, Syed Husain. Madhulika commented, “The Small Business Sundays and Market Mondays initiatives were organized to showcase student-run enterprises and support the CUD community. Each week, a student promoted his/her business, giving them the experience of a real market setup. As Business Society President, I’ve been so proud to see the enthusiasm among students to participate with so many diverse ideas across different products and services.”