Qadreya Al Awadhi, a 27-year-old Emirati entrepreneur, is the founder and CEO of Bumblebee, a homegrown business offering ready-made frozen meal plans for babies and toddlers. According to her, her mission is to provide nutritious and delicious meals for babies and toddlers that will help them develop a healthy and sustainable relationship with food.
The determination and mission-centered philosophy, she has been selected to be part of a United Nations Women’s Program, which recognizes her contribution to the empowerment of women in business.
The idea of her business began when Qadreya babysat her friend’s son, who was being weaned, and realized that there were no healthy or nutritious meals available for him at the supermarket or local grocery.
In this situation, she identified this gap in the market and was determined to help mothers provide a healthy alternative for their babies. Thus, was born Bumblebee, a baby meal plan catering to the needs of new parents by offering natural and high-quality ingredients that are not only nutritive but also delicious.
To develop a menu selection that would suit a child’s dietary standards, Qadreya onboarded a paediatric nutritionist and a chef. Together, they developed recipes that offer various new flavours and textures for every meal, including the sauces, all of which are cooked from scratch. With an initial investment of AED 150K, Qadreya successfully kicked off her business and has won multiple awards for her contribution to children’s health.
Where it all began
Born and raised in Dubai, Qadreya studied Finance at Zayed University, followed by a Master’s degree from The University of Wollongong in International Business. She currently manages a full-time job working with one of the biggest financial institutions globally.
Qadreya is passionate about voluntary work, particularly in helping and educating young people in the financial field. She engages in campaigns about money literacy for schoolchildren and is involved in beach cleanups, charity runs, and helping women get back into the workforce.
Being an Emirati, Qadreya has seen her country transform into an international hub of different countries and cultures. She finds it fascinating how she doesn’t have to travel anymore to experience all those different cultures. It has been great meeting people with various backgrounds and finding out how similar they are in many ways.
Although Qadreya is busy with her day job and running her Bumblebee business, she makes time for volunteer work. She believes that volunteering is not only beneficial to the community but also helps her become a better person.
As she says, “When I see the impact that I can have on people’s lives, it fills me with a sense of pride and accomplishment. It motivates me to keep going and to keep pushing myself to do more.”
Struggles and dreams
Although she is in her home country, Qadreya said that starting a business is never easy, it requires a lot of time and dedication as well as knowledge in the field.
“I am still learning to navigate this field but whatever I am faced with any challenges, I always go back to my great support systems which is comprised of friends and family. They always cheer me on, motivate me and even provide me with solutions to fix my problems,” she says.
When asked about life after work, Qadreya responds, “I have a day job, and running my Bumblebee business is my after-work activity, but I like to do volunteer work with both.” She engages in campaigns about money literacy for schoolchildren, beach cleanups, charity runs, and helping women get back into the workforce.
For Qadreya, the best part of Dubai is its beaches. “There is nothing better than walking on sand, hearing the soft waves, and watching the sunset,” she says.
As an Emirati, she has witnessed the transformation of her country into an international hub of different countries and cultures. Qadreya finds it fascinating to meet people with diverse backgrounds and discover how similar they are in many ways.
Qadreya’s success as an entrepreneur and her commitment to helping her community have earned her a place in the United Nations Women’s Program. Her passion for healthy food for babies and toddlers.
Lastly, when asks about her ultimate dream, she says, “I hope to grow my business and achieve the company’s vision of building a healthier society. I hope that when I have kids, I can let them know that their mom helped build a healthier generation that they can be a part of.”