By Tamara Pupic
Two Emirati mothers have built a business around the idea of making children the innovators of tomorrow
For Basma Al Fahim and Fatma Al Madani, Emirati co-founders of Fairytales, an indoor play area for children up to eight years old, innovation starts at home.
As many other user entrepreneurs, Al Fahim and Al Madani, our latest Entrepreneurs of the Week, aimed to build something better for their own use, but then decided to turn it into a successful business venture.
Al Madani left her seven-year-long career at the UAE government to spend more time raising her two daughters. She knew her next step would be a business in which she can take her children with her to work.
“The concept was inspired by our children,” she says. “Our first brainstorming meeting was done with our children in the same room, and we found ourselves watching their adventure of becoming pirates and fairies after finding an inflatable boat. They reminded us of how we played as kids, without electronics.
“After in depth research about imaginary play, the benefits we found convinced us that this is what we want to focus on.”
The two best friends teamed up to open Fairytales in December last year. Al Fahim and Al Madani explain that due to the fact that their business idea was not considered eligible for a bank loan they collected their savings and fully funded the business themselves.
Despite funding-related obstacles, their business has enjoyed continuous growth mainly due to word of mouth.
“Our mission is to support intellectual growth in an environment that stimulates imagination,” says Al Fahim, a mother of two boys who has already developed a number of successful businesses, including an events company, a fashion brand, and a beauty salon.
“As mothers we know what we want in a play area – safety, educational benefits and healthy food – so we merged our priorities with the interests of our children.”
In addition to sparking children’s creative thinking and imagination, Al Fahim and Al Madani work on fostering unselfishness and instilling social responsibility among Fairytales’ young members.
They donated over 200 books during a book donation campaign by The UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) to support and entertain children cancer patients in Dubai Hospital on World Cancer Day.
The two Emirati mothers also took part in a Happy Hearts project, organised by Dubai-based The Happy Box, and sent over 600 handmade cards to orphans in India.
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