Aisha Kasim, MA Business & Management, 2006
Current position: Inventor of the Hot Donut Hair Bun
Aisha Kasim grew up among entrepreneurs and honed her business acumen at Glasgow. She’s now poised to make waves in the hair and beauty market.
A trip to the gym inspired Aisha’s big business idea. What if the bun ring she saw being advertised on TV could also style your hair with gentle heat while in situ, she wondered. The time-saving beauty boost could prove indispensable to busy people who want styled curls on the go without the hassle of curling tongs and finding a plug.
Much scribbling on notepads followed, and Aisha filed her first patents, for the Hot Donut Hair Bun, at the end of 2013. A crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo raised enough interest for Aisha to test the market and, having sourced a second manufacturer after the first fell through, she was able to dispatch her initial run of 1,000 pieces in January.
‘I’m quite excited by its potential,’ says Aisha of the finished item. ‘I’m trying to make it a mass market product, so right now I’m exploring my options, which might include selling through a ‘big box’ store or perhaps a different route involving social media.’
Business has long been a passion. Aisha grew up in Nigeria, which she remembers as a very creative place teeming with entrepreneurial people – her parents included. She later moved with her family to Aberdeen and then came to Glasgow to study. Switching from psychology to business & management proved a shrewd move: Aisha set up her first business just a year after graduating, selling her own-brand hair extensions, wigs and ponytails.
'I love bringing something to life and making it work, and from that people getting jobs and making a living,' she says. 'And I love the creativity involved.’
Aisha says she chose the University as much for its character as its academic reputation. Glasgow remains her favourite city in Scotland.
‘There are so many different cultures and so much going on – there’s art, there’s music, there’s a real energy to the city,’ she says. ‘It was like the world opened up a bit when I went to Glasgow, in terms of meeting new people and having new experiences.’