I’m thrilled to announce that I have been selected as part of the inaugural cohort of the Inclusive Innovation Awards 2022/2023!

The Award has been granted by Innovate UK as part of UK Research &  Innovation,  providing grant funding to companies that demonstrate they are developing innovations centered on equality, diversity and inclusion.

I received this amazing news on 5th January 2023, at 15:04. I remember being on a very important video call with a Retailer, and seeing this email from Innovate UK pop into my inbox, saying “Important Information”, my eyes immediately fell on the body of the email:

“We are pleased to inform you that your application for the Inclusive Innovation Awards 2022/23 competition has been successful. Congratulations, we are looking forward to having you and your organisation join the first ever Inclusive Innovation cohort! “

I discreetly fist-bumped my husband, and continued with the call. I don’t know how I contained my excitement!


I’m so glad to be able to finally share this news with you all. It’s been under press embargo pending public announcement in April, and then further delayed due to all the press surrounding the Coronation.

As you know I love designing toys that will really help our children learn and engage with their Islamic faith giving them strong foundations to build upon. I bravely and confidently proposed 2 innovative projects centered around Islamic education for children. I had to submit an insane amount of detail on the projects, convincing the judges, of the community challenges I hope to overcome with my innovations, as well as demonstrating business growth and successful economic impact.

I was absolutely blown away when I read my application was successful! I had literally poured all my heart, time and energy into it for several weeks!

I’m so thankful the effort paid off.


So what does this win mean for the Desi Doll Company?

This is huge news, not just for Desi Doll Company, but also for our community.  It means that we have funding to design 2 new interactive Islamic toys!

I’m so excited about this! Stressed but excited!  Having the vision and the plans on paper are one thing, but actually making them materialise is another ball game altogether. The project spans 12 months ending March 31st 2024, and already it doesn’t seem long enough! I will be working very hard between now and end of March 2024 to create these two fantastic Islamic educational resources Insha’Allah. The pressure is definitely on.

Innovate UK (part of Gov.UK) is the UK’s national innovation agency, helping UK businesses to grow through development and commercialisation of new products, processes and services.

I’m so proud to have received this award. It’s going to be a real game changer for our business, allowing us to accelerate projects that otherwise would have taken a lot longer to bring to fruition.


Having this award and recognition is a huge milestone for our community. I’m super grateful to Innovate UK, and all the judges for scoring my application so highly, and appreciating the innovation in my proposal, as well as the inclusivity that our toys bring.

Watch this space to follow our journey. Please remember us in your dua’s.