Nishat Siddiqui was taking care of her husband after he suffered a heart attack when she first learned about EWI. She was invited to a local open house where EWI entrepreneurs showcased their businesses and stories about joining the EWI community. Nishat recalled having “tears in [her] eyes as [she] listened to them.” She recalled being especially inspired by the entrepreneurs because of how intelligent and confidently they all presented themselves. “That’s when I decided to apply for the EWI entrepreneur training program”, says Nishat.
Nishat was already in the process of modifying her family’s Indian recipes to make them healthier following her husband’s heart attack. Turning healthy Indian cooking into a profession could not have been any more perfect for her. Nishat “always wanted to teach people how to cook and had a passion for having [her] own catering business one day.” After graduating, Nishat hosted several healthy Indian food cooking classes at Whole Foods and has catered numerous events.
The greatest impact EWI made on Nishat was the opportunity to watch people like Marga Fripp, Dianne Lorenz, and the entire EWI team, work hard to help women like her; making sure that the entrepreneurs have something and someone to depend on. Her advice to other women is to never give up and always follow their dreams.
Nishat pays forward the kindness she received from the women who work at EWI by speaking on Empowered Women International’s behalf at different advice, offering other women personal and professional advice whenever they need it, she has given free cooking lessons at her local Whole Foods, by donating gift certificates for her catering company as prizes for charitable causes, and lastly, by volunteering her time at Manna Food Bank to pack lunch for needy school children.
To women who wish to open a small business, Nishat has the following advice: “remember that working hard always pays off in the end. To start your own business is not easy. One has to struggle a lot. But EWI and the staff play an important role in making the journey easier.”
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