Owner, Nextwave Web
Growing up in Jordan as one of 14 siblings, Alia Suqi always knew she’d have to work hard to find her own way. Her parents were supportive, but there weren’t many opportunities for a young woman in Jordan — so after finishing high school in 1986, Alia moved to New Jersey.
It was always my dream to come here. Coming from a humble background, I saw this as my chance to make a better life for myself and my family.Alia Suqi
Alia arrived on a student visa and earned a degree in computer science. She met her husband, Isa, a Jordanian-American electrical engineer, and gained a green card through marriage. After 10 years working as a computer programmer for a risk-management company, Alia started out on her own, and she and Isa launched a printing company called Nextwave Web.
They started in the basement of their home and gradually expanded. Today, Nextwave Web is a successful company with eight employees and revenues of over $2 million a year. The pandemic made life difficult, but Alia and Isa took out loans to avoid laying off workers. “We have wonderful employees, and we didn’t want a single person to go without a paycheck,” Alia explains.
Along the way, Alia benefited from the support of William Paterson’s Small Business Development Center, which helped her understand the nuts and bolts of running a company. “As a small business owner, you have to wear so many hats,” Alia says. “Having somewhere to go for advice was very, very helpful.”
Alia strongly believes in giving back to the community. She served on the boards of her Rotary Club chapter and the North Jersey Chamber of Commerce, and worked with the Women’s Empowerment Democratic Organization to support female political candidates. As the mother of children with special needs, Alia also ran a support group for parents. She dreams of one day launching a nonprofit to advocate for children with special needs.