May 31, 2023

The Sweet Taste of Success: Spreadly

Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to launch a new business? Well, you are not the only one. 31 years old Maha Mrad, the founder and CEO of spreadly, was plagued with similar doubts at the start of her entrepreneurial career. Now, she sells more than 10,000 jars a year of a spread described by many as “even better than Nutella!”

Born and raised in Lebanon, Maha graduated from the School of Engineering with a Master’s in Engineering. She spent seven years working for a leading Engineering Consultancy Firm, where she worked as an Airport Planner for Major International Airports in United Arab Emirates, Rwanda, and Saudi Arabia. However, she felt that something was missing in her life and that she needed to do something more meaningful.

“I wasn’t happy with my job, and I found something new in Spreadly,” she said. “The learning, the uncertainty, the fact that you are starting something from scratch and making it grow was intriguing.”

In 2019, the economic crisis in Lebanon gave Maha the push she needed to turn her dream into a reality. In her own words: “Due to inflation, many of the healthy products were becoming extremely expensive and went missing from the shelves.”  This was the sign that Maha needed to get the wheels moving. 

With great determination, Maha experimented with the recipe before finally launching her spread on Instagram. Of course, this was not without challenges. As someone without a business background, she struggled with a lack of entrepreneurial information, such as pricing her product and the guidelines that have to be followed. As such, she decided to register for different training sessions as well as different competitions to finance her business. In other words, she was relentless. 

This was when she came across SPARK’s partner, Start-up Without Borders (SWB), as part of the Startups on the Move competition, financed by  Through the programme, Maha was able to access training,  mentorship and valuable networks which helped her to take her business to the next level. “It was amazing the network that I was able to build because of this,” she said. “An indispensable thing to have in the business world.”

Now, Maha is able to see the fruits of her efforts. What started as a one-person operation is currently functioning with 5 additional people. Spreadly has sold around 10,000 jars in 2022 alone and is looking to introduce new flavours soon. Initially, her products were sold on their Instagram page only, but gradually they started selling on other platforms, e-commerce pages and even retailers. But that is not the end of the journey for a passionate Maha. She concludes with: 

“Imagine seeing the jar spread on every shelf in the supermarket, not only in Lebanon but worldwide!”