Khulood Abdulqader’s Gem of a success story
The founder of Curve, a boutique jewellery atelier is Khulood Abdulqader, whose work combines the best of Bahrain’s pearling heritage and the narrative of contemporary Bahraini women’s empowerment through education and social support.
Khulood made the transition from government employee to entrepreneur in a stunning leap of professional empowerment, supported by her background in gem and jewellery science and by UNIDO. The former officer in Bahrain’s Ministry of Commerce & Industry's Gems and Pearl Testing Laboratory, was the first Bahraini woman to qualify at the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA).
“At first, I worked from home and showcased my creations at ladies' associations and bazaars attended by influential ladies. Soon orders started coming in and I decided to strike out on my own. I was content with the fact that my reputation was growing and I was making about $ 5,000 to $8,000 USD a month in profits. But UNIDO raised the bar on my ambitions. I learnt to professionally channel my talent and gained valuable technical knowledge on how to run a business.”
Today, Curve Jewelry has an annual turnover of $1 million USD a year and a net worth of $3 million USD.
"When I started, I had the technical skills from my work at the Ministry's gem lab and my study at the GIA. I had the flair and creativity that got me clients. But it was UNIDO that taught me to prioritise my growth and business development. UNIDO supported me and helped me to leverage my skills to get bigger loans for my business expansion, for example."
She says the Bahrain Business Model which UNIDO has created empowers entrepreneurs by teaching them to think big.
"My establishing my business was a first step. It was through UNIDO that I got the exposure in regional exhibitions to see and understand current industry trends and promote my own creative vision. I am now working with the UNIDO team transform my business into a franchise concept in the region. It is a big step in an industry that is dominated by brands with centuries of fashion history. I could not do it without the confidence boost that UNIDO gives me.
And her advice to potential women entrepreneurs is "Take full advantage of the opportunities that UNIDO places before you. It is your doorway to new success and growth."