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Muslamic Makers 2020 Review

It’s been quite the year for us all and it’s been no different for the Muslamic Makers Community. It was a year where the community needed each other. Founders in our communities went through tough times with their startups, some community members were made redundant, some were in isolation and we had students graduating in the middle of a pandemic feeling anxious.

We also rebuilt our team and with a bunch of amazing new volunteers, we are proud of everything we have achieved this year despite the odds against us. We did a lot of new things from a new programme to virtual lunches. We had many new members join our community and many of our community members gave back through mentoring.

They plan, and Allah plans. Surely, Allah is the Best of planners.” #Quran 8:30”.

Before Covid: Jan Hackathon 2020

What we planned:

At the start of this year in January we did an in-person hackathon with Deen Developers, which was a great success.

We also had an agreed partnership with Google For Startups for monthly sponsored events in their space for the whole of 2020.

We were also about to launch the Manchester Muslamic Makers Chapter in April and had to cancel our 4th Birthday event in March.

I personally also was trying to get a grant to enable me to go part-time on on Muslamic Makers.

What actually happened in 2020: 

Restructuring

  • Pausing in-person events was actually a big blessing. It allowed us to pause and figure out what we really want to do. I used those lockdown weekends to rebuild our website to better reflect Muslamic Makers. 
  • Most of the original team could no longer commit enough time/resources, so my first task was to build a whole new team virtually and I am so proud of all the people we have onboard now. Big shout out to them all! We’ve achieved so much this year because of them.

Online Events and Collaborations

  • Switching to virtual meant more emphasis on our slack community and building an online programme of events.
  • We started a weekly virtual lunch slot in March to help isolated members connect once a week. It’s been going for 40 weeks now. Shoutout to Mustafa and others from the community who have kept this going.
  • We collaborated with a whole host of organisations from Ada Ventures, Makers, Deen Developers, Ramadan Legacy, Muslim Youth Helpline, Tech Tree, Hired and Box Cloud Storage.
  • We also launched a beta version of Mentorpreneur our online platform to easily book in conversation with people from our community.
  • We ran an online skills workshop on finding future customers.
  • Ran a Post Iftar Quiz Night with Ramadan Legacy and Muslim Youth Helpline and raised some money and awareness about mental health. 
  • We ran our lightning talks event with the community
  • Ran a series of CV workshops over the summer to help students, specifically those who had graduated this year. 
  • Hosted a careers insight event with Box.

Digital Kickstarter Programme

  • Launched our first Digital Careers Kickstarter Programme which has been going really well. An impact report on this will be produced once the programme has ended. 
  • As part of our programme we have delivered 7 different workshops so far including User-Centered Design, User Research, UX Design, Product Management and Data Science.
  • The programme will be ending in February and we’re be sharing feedback and impact data.

2021 Plans: 

We’re really working hard to make Muslamic Makers self-sustaining. We are looking into officially getting registered as a not-for-profit, gaining sponsorship, and finding ways to generate revenue so that we can finally start paying people for the work they do. Running an organization without any funding with just volunteers for nearly 5 years has been hard work. We’ll be launching our 5-year impact report next year, doubling down on upskilling, and looking to run the Digital Careers Kickstarter programme again. If you’re keen to support us financially then please drop me an email on arfah@muslamicmakers.com..

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