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Running a Home-Based Business in KSA

I’ve been trying to get my home-based business off the ground for a long time now. I’ve made the mistake of funding my business through my business. I’m looking for another means of making money to get it going in the right direction. I have a few ideas that I think will go over rather well. I’m also planning to take a few business courses, In Shaa Allaah. I’m determined to make it!
Are there any Western women successfully running a business (home-based or not) here in Saudi? I’d love to correspond with you. Please leave your E-mail address in the comment section. {I won’t post it.}
Take a look at these Saudi home-based businesses….good job ladies!
Home cooking: A flourishing business
Fatima Sidiya | Arab News
Armed with nothing but grit and an idea, some women are turning their talents into small successful ventures with a little investment in an already existing infrastructure — their homes.

Hiba Mandorah, a 25 year-old mother, who started her own business a few months ago hopes to expand soon. Her business is nothing unusal, but Mandorah’s cupcakes with fancy decorations are much in demand. And it is only mouth-to-mouth advertising that has got her an increased client base from outside her family and friends. Though a graduate in accounting, she said a course in decorating cupcakes proved beneficial to establishing her home business. “In addition to the course,” she said, “my love and talent for baking has set me up with my own business.

Though her business is still not registered yet, she is already looking ahead. She has designed her logo at home — as she did her business to be ready for the day when she makes it big with her own outlet in a food court. But for now, she is working from home, looking forward to that day. She says her family is “very supportive” — both in helping with the baking as well as in selling the product. Though she concentrates on cupcakes, she also takes order for big cakes for special occasions. And these orders are on the increase. She said that participation in the Mother and Child Bazaar helped popularize her business. Mandorah, being Internet savvy, said that being on Facebook had helped her business by increasing its client base. Mandorah, who started by using her own money, charges SR200 for 30 cupcakes plus SR20 for delivery, a price that her customers find reasonable.

In her 50’s Umm Mamdouh, caters for customers both by sewing and cooking. Many who come for handmade materials also buy the homemade food or vice-versa. Most of her clients, who are pressed for time, are teachers and employees of varying nationalities. “I sell different types of Arabic food, including main meals, appetizers, and desserts; basically everything that customers would ask for. Some of the plates are SR50 while others are SR40. I do the cooking by myself with the help of my daughters. My prime concern is to serve fresh food.”

Most of the customers have transport, but Umm Mamdouh takes food to clients who have none. She started her business with the complete support of her children. “I was inspired by a dream in which I was preparing some handmade materials. With the help of my daughter, I saved to start a tailoring shop, which I later merged with my cooking into a combined business. I am doing this to help my family and it is much better than depending on others or taking loans.”

Umm Mamdouh is satisfied with having her business at home and is not thinking of expanding. “I do not intend to take this business out of my home since it would cost me much more and my sons can’t leave their jobs and supervise my business. At present I’m happy with the way it is running and I have my hands full,” she explained.

Umm Zakaria and her daughters are also producing food at home -— making and selling Bukhari food. Her 25 year-old daughter is now taking care of the business and the home as Umm Zakaria is diabetic. “My father was the sole breadwinner and was unable to make ends meet. After finishing my primary education, I had to stay home and help my mother with cooking. I had to do this in order to help my other siblings get a decent life and a good education,” the daughter said. Twenty-five years ago, they moved to Jeddah from Madinah, where Umm Zakaria used to prepare and sell food to pilgrims near the mosques. She continued when they came to Jeddah.

With more customers buying, Umm Zakaria’s family stopped selling in the street and sold their products only from home. The daughter said that the quality of her mother’s cooking was what made the business successful. Some buy the food, freeze it and even send it to their relatives abroad.

Others reserve huge quantities for special occasions such as Ramadan and Haj. Despite Bukhari outlets mushrooming all over Jeddah, Umm Zakaria’s daughter said that their loyal customers from the past 20 years are still with them.

24 thoughts on “Running a Home-Based Business in KSA

  1. Assalamu alaikum ,

    Taking a business course is a great idea. You need Capital to start a busines.. Don’t give up your dream insha’Allah you will make it.

    You can ask this sister who lives in Kuwait how she started her
    business. I bought some stuff from her long time.

  2. Assalaamu alaikum warrahmatullaahe wabarakatuh

    I am very interested to do the home based healthty food provider business, I’ve been struggling for two years but I am not good with selling. people who knows about my food like it and place an order. I would like to live in Saudi and do this business if it is feasible to live in KSA and earn & study the deen.I am so happy to hear this home based business in KSA. I am a Canadian citizen.

  3. Assalaamu ‘alaykum

    MashaAllaah, I love to hear about female entrepreneurs and their success stories. There are many home-based ideas and sometimes it just takes that one costumer to boost the business.

    A lot of success is in finding a niche and catering to that specific group. The more specified your target market is, the better chance for success.

    For your hijab pins and bracelets perhaps you can try setting up a booth at the local university and cater to the female students. Those bracelets you make are lovely, and everyone is wearing that type of jewelery now adays.
    There are many marketing benefits in this (making a presence where potential customers may be) even if no one buys. You can give out your cards, and even sample pins, and have them write down their email so you can send them “info” (e-marketing material). Get the word out, sometimes it only takes one customer for the business to boom.

    Check out, they have tons of information and tips on starting/running/expanding a business.

    Zahra Mukhtar

  4. Salam’alaykum

    im going to live in ksa ,in riyadh and me to i want to start a busness only for woman ,a beauty institute ,and i want to know if it’s possible to have a female sponsor inchAllah

    barakAllahufiki ukhty fillah for your blog and your determination

  5. Wa ‘alaikumus salaam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. Jazaakillaahu khairan ukhtee Zahra. I haven’t sat down to make jewelry in a very long time. It’s hard to find the supplies I need and ordering from the USA will be extremely expensive.

    And you are so right, word of mouth is the best form of advertisement. I wholeheartedly want to get into herbology/natural beauty. I plan to finance it through another means In Shaa Allaah. I found a niche in a certain market here in the Kingdom and plan to build a small business upon that, I just have to “upgrade” my skills, take a few online business courses and go from there. I appreciate the link and will definitely check it out.

    Um Amjad, I don’t know anything about female sponsors. I am doing research on women opening businesses here, so keep an eye on this thread for business links, contact info and articles. Make lots of du’aa and pray for guidance.

    Ruhi, May Allaah bless your business. You already have a few customers, so don’t be afraid to attract more. Do you have a web site?

    Yes, you can run a home-based business while studying the Deen here. You will be tired – smiles – but In Shaa Allaah you will reap the rewards. (Just don’t burn yourself out:)


  6. Jazakallah khairn for the support, the question is how will I get the visa for KSA? I am all alone no mehram how will I live there and start my dream of home business & study the deen? can someone initiate me to move I will be very appreciated and may Allah Almighty fullfil our wished ameen

  7. Salaam aleikom
    MasjaAllah, it is nice to read there are woman with good ideas making business!
    Is there someone who can help me with this: I would like to start giving privat English lessons in the home to make can I find the people who want/need the lessons? Do you have to advertise somewhere..?
    And my husband is looking for someone in Saudi who is working in the carselling- business: we want insjaAllah to export cars from Europe and sell it in Saudi, but we need a contactperson in Saudi to get started insjAllah..please respond soon, we really want to make hijra insjAllah!!
    barakallah fiki, wa salaam aleikom Um Abdullah-alHollandiyyah asSalafiyyah

  8. Assalaamu alaikum warrahmatullaahe wabarakatuh

    Hope your are fine. i am Atiq ur Rehman MD Lahore Business Consultants in Pakistan. i would like start a Business in KSA. My Company Hed Office in Pakistan Branch
    Office in China. i want information about start Businees in KSA. plz send me Requirements or require Documents start Business in KSA.

    Most Oprtants Remamber me your Prays.

    Jazaakillaahu khairan

    Best Regard!

    Atiq ur Rehman

  9. Wa ‘alaikumus salaam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. Umm ‘Abdullaah, I’m clueless when it comes to the automotive industry. If I come across something I’ll share it with you In Shaa Allaah.

    As for tutoring, some advertise on the Expatriate Web Site. (Some ads oppose the Sunnah so be forewarned.) Most tutors build clientele by word of mouth. Once you get here and meet other expats, just mention that you’d like to tutor and In Shaa Allaah your phone will ring off the hook. Many expats, especially women, tutor in their homes and make more money doing it than they would working full time.

    Ruhi & Atiqur Rahman, this should help In Shaa Allaah – How to Operate a Business in Saudi Arabia

    How to Start a Business in Saudi Arabia

  10. Arab News – Home Business Law Upsets Many

    Jeddah: Home-based businesses run by women to supplement their incomes are growing, especially following the municipality’s announcement last month that it had introduced a licensing scheme to regulate businesses.


  11. hello.
    I am living in north west of Riyadh in a compound and I want to start something for children like summer camp or activity classes or any new idea. but, i need someone talented like me to be a partner. an English native is preferable. please contact on my e mail.

  12. HI Iam organising an exhibitiopn in a compound in al khobar saudi arabiaif anyone is interested pls do contact me on my e-mail or this mob no 0569291768 any time Exhibition will be only for females and it will be about clothes jewellery food and saloon and many other each stall will be for 200 and entrance fees will be 10 per head.I will provide you details on call

  13. im a creative sri lankan house wife…im living in al khobar.I ve a talent for drawing(art & craft).i can make handmade greeting cards,gift box,hand made papers,flower deco,table deco ect..anyone is interested to help pls let me know…thanks..

  14. I have so much to offer here in Jeddah, but where do i start? I am a lifes skills and personal development coach. I am also a clothing designer patternmaker. wich i can teach people. currently I am running a kindergarten at a compound. do you have any advise how i could advertise this. to train people,

  15. Build a web site.

    Blog about your services. It’s easy, free and will generate a nice amount of traffic to your home site.

    Reciprocal links (link others/get linked). Proper website promotion results in increased page ranking, greater website traffic and better search engine placement.

    There are many web sites offering free or low cost ads. Try:, or search Google for more services.

    Many expats list their services here.

    Al Osboiya delivers ads and circulars every Fri. To place an ad, call 92 002 0110. The web site is under construction, however, here’s the link for future reference.

    Social Networking – try Twitter and other leading services to help spread the word.

    Offer a free class or two. If you win over your potential students, they’ll not only come back, but they’ll tell others about your services. Experts say that “word of mouth” is still the best form of advertisement.

  16. hi all im new here in ksa jeddah i really would love to make healthy food services and cooking classes for kids but still dunno how to start,, im from jordan plz advice

  17. Hi Nida. I’ll help you research startups and post info when I’m able, In Shaa Allaah. Your idea is great. I hope it works out.

  18. Hi i am running a home base preschool for kids of age 3-4 years and help them to prepare to face interviews for admission Kindergarten, but i am confused weather to continue or not because of the legal issues.
    i would be very glad if you can help me to take decisions.


  19. I will look into current laws regarding home-based businesses and post a reply as soon as I can.

    You have something promising going on. I hope there’s room for you to (legally) expand.

  20. Hi. I see the last comment is made last year. I hope you can help with advise. I am a wife living in Jeddah and I am planning to start a home based business / cakes and party catering/. I need information about the sponsorship and legalizing this business.

    Thank you

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