Open Silicon Valley 

One stark difference I felt in the American Muslim community and the british muslim community was the immigration story. I felt a lot of people were university educated and came to America and entered the professional field which meant their children had educated parents and networks to help guide them.

I got to experience the Open Silicon Valley community. Founded in 2001 by a group of Pakistani American entrepreneurs and corporate executives, OPEN Silicon Valley, or Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs of North America, is a not-for-profit dedicated to providing educational programs, career coaching, business mentoring and network opportunities for members in the Bay Area. OPEN provides a gateway to rewarding connections and accessibility to influential members in our community. Their mission is to promote entrepreneurship and professional growth by connecting the professional Pakistani community in Silicon Valley through workshops, events and mentoring opportunities.

They also have different subgroups and one of them was OPEN SV youth which I got to speak at to share my journey.

I found that by running events and mentoring programmes it enabled the current generation to benefit. They have a London chapter to which isn’t that engaged and I feel that maybe this is to do with the fact the diaspora and its background is very different here in the UK however saying that it runs lots of good programmes and a key takeaway for me was it’s just sometimes about bringing similar people under one roof to raise aspirations, which I already do with my organisation Muslamic Makers.