Everyone needs someone who believes in them. With your help we can play that role for women entrepreneurs in the Washington DC area.
That’s why we can’t wait to tell you about Maryam.
Maryam Abdulrahman Kuliya grew up in Nigeria, learning from her mother and believing for herself that “a woman should always be empowered.” But what could she actually do to model this to others, especially her children? Maryam cultivated her business sense with degrees in Finance and Business Administration, but she was never sure where to channel her efforts.
“I have always wanted to be a businesswoman, but I never had the push”
The encouragement Maryam’s mother provided her transformed into powerful motivation after a fatal accident in 2011 claimed the lives of her mother and several brothers. When a close friend in Nigeria started a small business selling exclusive fabric from abroad, her interest was piqued. Maryam’s friend introduced her to the market, and she soon developed a passion for beautiful silk fabrics from Europe. Networking together, the two established their individual boutiques with hopes of expanding internationally.
But shortly after starting her business, Maryam received word that her husband’s work would assign them to the United States. Her journey as an entrepreneur had only just begun: Maryam was determined to see what this new land would mean for her business. She applied to EWI’s Entrepreneurial Training for Success and remembers: “The first person I called when I was accepted into the ETS program was my friend in Nigeria.”
At EWI, Maryam’s business horizons have broadened and deepened. “EWI has become the push I have always needed,” she says. Her increased confidence meant she could finally imagine her business on an international front.
Maryam offers top quality fabrics and dresses from Switzerland at affordable prices, already placing her brand above her competitors. She is marketing her product primarily to the Nigerian community, allowing others to maintain strong connections with their home culture.
Because the EWI community provided practical and personal support at a moment of great transition for Maryam, she is now continuing her mother’s legacy of empowerment and achieving her dreams of defining herself in an international market.