An Omani high-school team has scooped three awards at the Injaz al Arab’s Youth Entrepreneurship Celebration 2020, including the Company of the Year Award in the high-school category.
Shatla also won the Citi Client Focus Award, FedEx Global Possibilities Award as well as the Soraya Salti Company of the Year Award (together with ToRead from Lebanon).
Shatla – Arabic for ‘seedling’ – is an online platform that connects nurseries and customers, creating win-win opportunities for both. Through the website, Shatla connects customers with detailed information about a specific plant, including its care instructions in multiple languages. This helps nurseries increase sales, which in turn contributes to the sustainability of the environment as more plants are grown and cared for.
Shatla’s effort has been commended for demonstrating innovation, fostering connections to new markets, fueling community development and environmental sustainability.
Shatla consists of five students from Al Sahwa Schools – Shahad al Hasni as CEO, Zainab al Lawati as finance manager, Sarah Haseeb al Zaabi as marketing manager, Ahmed al Lawati as research and development manager, and Hashim al Lawati as human resource manager.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Sarah said, “Shatla is an online platform acting as a mediator between customers and sellers of plants and agricultural products. We participated in Injaz al Arab this year where more than 100 student entrepreneurs from 14 countries took part.”
The team initially worked on the broad concept of creating something that benefits society while helping in the sustainability of the environment.
“We did a market survey and found that nurseries suffer from several problems which are an inconvenience to customers, including plants displayed which customers are unfamiliar with. The language barrier customers face with nursery workers also severely limits customers’ options,” said Sarah.
Additionally, customers may exceed the number of workers at nurseries, leading to long waiting periods. “The solution was to come up with a website that acts as a mediator to bring together the nursery and the customer, offering various options to the latter with detailed information about each plant, including delivery services.”
Sarah and her teammates’ biggest challenge is juggling their regular studies and the business.
“It is tough balancing between our school, business and social life,” Sarah said.
Referring to Earth and the environment as the source of life, she said Shatla will work to protect and save it for the future generations.