Halima Umar Atana is a Twenty-year-old who has proven yet again that you can achieve anything you set your mind to achieve. She has mastered various entrepreneurial skills and is clearly making an impact in her community. She started honing her entrepreneurial skills from a very young age and today, she has achieved so much.
Halima although an indigene of Kano, was born and brought up in Lagos and is the CEO/Managing Director at Atanas Meal in Lagos. The menu of this restaurant comprises of local and continental dishes, different snacks, drinks and mock tails. There is also a mini-branch of same restaurant operational in Kano State.
She is also the CEO of Modern Walk by Atana. Modern Walk by Atana is an all-round fashion company that deals in ready to wear, tailoring services and the sale of exotic fabrics and various types of fashion accessories. The brand also conducts consultations for brides regarding their wedding dresses and refers reputable make-up artists.
She also engages in the production and sale of tea bags and different spices which include garlic, yellow pepper, ginger, yaji, turmeric, etc.
Halima is of the strong belief that every girl-child and woman should acquire useful skills so as to have a positive impact on not just their personal lives but the society at large.
In addition to all her entrepreneurial achievements, the young lady is a student of Dentistry at the Emirate College of Health, Science and Technology, Kano State. Currently she is in her third year.
Journey to becoming a chef
Halima did not become an amazing entrepreneur overnight, she has put in years of handwork and dedication and her consistency is paying off. She ventured into business at the age of 13 with the making and sale of small chops when she was still in JSS 3. She started by selling a pack of small chops for N300. This contained two samosas, two spring rolls, puff-puff and meat sauce. She equally sold the un-fried dough for customers who preferred to fry the small chops by themselves. She perfected her skills by taking advantages of tutorials she found on YouTube. After a couple of years she had gotten so much better and could add more items in her platter.
According to her, she was very diligent and dedicated in her small business, till one day her dad who had been observing her commended her efforts and offered to open up a restaurant for her. Of course she was elated by the offer and promised her father that she was equal to the task. He trusted her and opened the restaurant for her and it has been operational for three years now.
What began as a small business years ago with her customer base consisting of mostly friends and neighbors has now grown into a big business with customers spanning across different tribes and walks of life. They even offer doorstep delivery services to customers who demand for it.
Currently, her restaurant in Lagos employs seven workers, while the restaurant in Kano has three workers. Over 100 persons have benefitted from the various trainings that she has organized both physical and online.
Meet her Role models
Most successful entrepreneurs have people that they look up to and for Halima, these people are Jidda Endabo, the brand owner of Cakes & Co, and Chef Halima Zawiya, the owner of Noodlebar. She takes them as her role models and has learnt a lot from looking up to them.
Hurdles to Jump
No business is without its own challenges and Halima has faced some challenges in her business. A major one is the issue of traffic in Lagos which results in her customers not getting their order on time at times and also causes the food to get cold before it even reaches the customer. However, she is working on a way to handle the situation so that food can get to the customers warm and on time.
The inflation rate which has resulted in a spike in the cost of food items is another challenge. This is because it makes it a struggle for her to still sell at affordable rates to her customers.
She pointed out that another challenge small scale businesses face in the country is inadequate working capital. Although social media has been of great help to these small businesses, adequate working capital will provide a much needed boost seeing that these small scale businesses are competing with larger companies that have enough capital at their disposal.
Advise to youths who wish to get into entrepreneurship
Halima’s advice to youths is that they should start small, and with time, dedication and hard work, the business will blossom. After all, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a step.
She added that it is important for youths to acquire useful skills so as to be of help to themselves, their family and the society.