Oct 27, 2018
I first came across Hodan Ibrahim in 2016, when she basically dropped everything she was doing in Canada and moved to Dubai to organize and host M-Powered Summit.
This was a first-of-its-kind conference on Muslim startups and entrepreneurship.
I ended up interviewing her and her co-founder for Ilmfeed, and also did writeups of the event.
I haven't seen one like it, since.
She hosted another, similar conference in Malaysia then next year, and has since moved on to bigger and better things.
You see, Hodan is a serial entrepreneur.
So the easiest thing that I did, and the hardest thing that I did, was becoming an entrepreneur. Um, it's, it's who I am. And I started out by failing a bunch of times and having little digital startups. The first company that worked out for me was a digital marketing agency that I had, um, and Alhamdulillah, after like three months. I went full-time on that.
Being an entrepreneur is "cool" now...every other Instagram profile has the title splashed across their bio.
But Hodan was in the entrepreneurship Game long before it was even a thing.
As a first-generation, Somali-Canadian immigrant Muslim (her family fled because of the war,) she ticked multiple minority status boxes...
And frequently found herself the only black woman in a room full of white men.
There was not a single person of color in any of these rooms that could understand my perspective...I remember one incident where I went to CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.) This was the first event that I ever did, in Ottawa, and it was about supporting entrepreneurs of color. And I went and got an interview with the CBC, and they're just like, "Why does it matter if an entrepreneur is a person of color?...why can't you just learn from all types of entrepreneurs? Why don't you have white entrepreneurs?"
None of this stopped her.
What's interesting to me is how she didn't let her hamster run wild and create a narrative of victimhood (Feminism, Patriarchy, Toxic Masculinity, yadda yadda yadda.)
She just did what she had to do to get where she needed to go.
And it was her faith that aided her.
In this episode of the Becoming the Alpha Muslim podcast, Hodan and I talk about:
For complete show notes, visit our blog: