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The Learning Curve Podcast | Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East.

Nicholla Henderson Hall, talks to Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East. Speaking with ladies in the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Egypt, Oman and Jordan we ask them to share their entrepreneurial journey. How they faced success and challenges in their own business, what advise and direction they offer up to more women keen to start their own business or expand their current business and where they see themselves as their businesses evolve. We are based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
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The Learning Curve Podcast | Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East.
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Now displaying: Category: woman entrepreneurs
May 15, 2017

'Do what it takes to get the job done' - this is the motto of Robyn Sokol, Managing Director of Emerald Events and Exhibitions.

I love how the driving force behind her starting her own company was her clients.  Before she got started they could see her abilities and strengths but she felt she lacked the confidence.  Today Robin is a fully fledged business owner, with some amazing events completed, works with some very prestigious brands and she can't wait for how the next years will role out!

Robin works in one of the most stressful job descriptions out there.  An event of any size has so many facets and dimensions that the potential for a failure can happen but this is where Robin thrives. She's a details person,  she loves the background operations, she's very open and connected to her clients and she loves seeing a project through to fulfilment. Yes she has days when she's deep into a project, stress levels are high and she questions her chosen career path but when it's all done and the client is more than delighted, that's when she knows she in the right career because she's always wanted to be an event's organiser.

In this episode, Robin takes us behind the scenes of her business story and the core essence of how she creates events which her clients love and want more off.  She shares her best accomplishments and her worst experience and what she learnt.  She tells us about her vision for her business and how her other motto is 'Go by instinct, live by fate'.

One of the key take aways I took from our meeting was the importance of having a vision, a template and a process.  Robin envisions the event and then works her magic with processes and a great team to create the for her client. In any business, the vision is the power house of achieving the goals and she reminded me of how important that was.  

Thank you Robin for your time, energy and insight, I love meeting people that are so passionate about what they do and you are clearly one of those ladies..... thank you!

Apr 3, 2017

'The Learning Curve Podcast - THE Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East.

I'm delighted to introduce you to Mariam Shibib the CEO and Founder of the Pomegranate Institute, a language institute at its core but so much more than that too.

Mariam story is a great example of someone who has become very clear on her purpose and her own why!  Its a complex journey to get there for each of us but she's found her story and knows what her passion and direction is.

Mariam is from a blended background meaning her ancestry is peppered with a number of cultures and flavours. She's part German, part Syrian and part Iraqi and her husband is from Pakistan. She has spent a lot of time in the UK and now Dubai is her home for her family and business.  

In this episode you will hear about Mariam's humanitarian background and how that has heavily influenced her journey. She tells us the story behind why her business is called Pomegranate institute.  Its a humbling story!  She shares with us how at the heart of understanding people is 'communication' and how the world would be a better place if we took the time to find the ways to communicate with each other.  She tells us why Dubai was right for her business and how key moments in our lives shift our prospective and we need to be paying attention.

It was a delight to listen to her story!  Mariam is a warm and open story teller.  Her voice is very soothing and she articulates her story so eloquently.  I can't wait to spend more time getting to know her. Thank you Mariam for your hospitality.  Your office space is a wonderful place to be in and your team are awesome. Thank you!

Mar 27, 2017

The Learning Curve Podcast - THE Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East.

I was delighted to have MC back on the show - I loved our previous discussion on Success Depends on Mastering Emotions. MC Lessard, is an Emotionologist. A specialist title that I'd only recently heard of.  When I met MC I was confused and intrigued by her title.  Why would one want to visit an Emotionologist? But the more I listened to MC it became even more clear why her expertise is so important today.    

One of the topics we spoke about was our relationship with Food and our emotions, something we are all familiar with.  MC took me an a educational and entertaining journey of getting more conscious with my eating. She introduced me to a four part strategy to help me deal with emotional eating.  I was very surprised to hear her first tip but you know what it totally made sense.  

MC really helped get some clarity around emotional eating and how our brain is very powerful at dishing out the negative thoughts when we eat emotionally but not great at sharing positive emotions when we eat.  She reminds us about a strategy she shares from her first podcast about 'parking your thought' which is very useful when it comes to mindful eating. She asks us to embrace our emotional eating moment and savor the treat - don't see it as a cheat!  She explains her logic behind this in the podcast and personally I'm fully embracing this logic.

MC introduces me to mindful eating and conscious eating. That awareness of what we are eating and how being more mindful means more emotional awareness and with that we have the foundation of emotional intelligence. A skill that  I really think is the secret to a fulfilling life! 

MC once again shared her ideas clearly and helped me understand her tips and strategies.  These strategies though are not a quick fix solution they are all part of our life journey. They need to be worked on daily and made into a habit.  If they become habit they are more likely to stick with us for the long term.

Thank you MC for your insights and wisdom - Through both our podcasts I'm more aware now that emotions and our thoughts play a huge part in how our lives play out!  We need to be continuously aware of them and questions how relevant they are in the moment!  Thank you! 

 

See more of our episode via our website www.thelearningcurvepodcast.com

 

Mar 13, 2017

The Learning Curve Podcast - THE Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East.

Its a true under current of women in business and I suffer from it too - its that voice in your head that says 'you are charging too much'.  Maybe you are more attuned to your pricing strategy and know what you are worth but I don't think I'm alone when we talk about the struggle of charging for your value of business you give.  We recognise we do it but lack the confidence to change it.  

This is where Maria Pearson walks into my life.  Maria Pearson is the CEO and Co-Founder of Grow.ME An impact development consultancy aimed at helping organisations connect people performance to business results.  She is also the creator of the initiative 'Women-able' - a platform to help women entrepreneurs of the UAE grow their businesses. 

Maria is all about empowering people. She's very passionate about helping people develop their skill sets and be great at what they do so what they do impacts the overall business performance or helps grow their businesses.  Maria helps you dig deep, she helps you answer the tough questions you may not be asking, she gives you the value and attention you need to grow your confidence, build your skill set and coachs you to your business success.

In this episode we discover more about Maria's career and why she started Grow-ME and the Woman-Able initiative.  She then takes us on a journey of helping us to pay more attention to our value and the price we put on our products and services.  Maria helps us recognise the pain points we could be suffering when we talk about our value. She shares how its important to go out to our customers and get a sense of their value drivers in helping us formulate our pricing strategy.


Maria shares how important confidence is when it comes to the topic of value and how you must value your time involved in the work around your product or service not just the product or service itself.  Women are great leaders and I believe can surpass men because of our abilities to juggle, multi-task and follow a well thought out strategy but if we can't get clear on the value we bring to the table and be confident about our prices then we will falter.

Maria and I had met a few times before we conducted this interview and each time she left me with food for thought.  She's a thought provoker, she's someone who is trying to pull you out of your comfort zone and help you find your larger comfort zone. 

Thank you Maria - for your time and your energy. Your successes with Woman-Able 2016 are evidence of how valuable your style, mentor-ship and programme is for women of the UAE to really make an impact and build a business they've always dreamed off.  Thank you.

Listen to more of our interviews via our website - www.thelearningcurvepodcast.com

Mar 6, 2017

The Learning Curve Podcast - THE Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East.

I'd like you to meet MC Lessard, an Emotionologist. A specialist title that I'd only recently heard of.  When I met MC I was confused and intrigued by her title.  Why would one want to visit an Emotionologist? But the more I listened to MC it became even more clear why her expertise is so important today.  

We are emotional beings and the way the world works today we are expected in some ways to disconnect from our emotions and just be.  Can you remember as a kid when your parents might say 'shake it off' or your buddy might say, after an emotional break up, 'get over it, move on' but its these kind of 'brush it under the carpet' attitude that means you don't deal with the emotion, it just sits there and quietly festers, waiting for you to deal with it.  That 'deal with it' moment can be totally unexpected and hit you at a time when you just don't have time to deal with it.  But I know life doesn't always work like that.  Talking with MC I discovered that we should embrace our emotional nature. Don't be scared of it or shy away from it as most of us do, but totally turn and face them. Discover what the emotion means and follow her 3 step strategy to help you move on from each emotion.  

In this interview MC helps us discover the importance of discovering our emotions and connecting to them. We are awesome at connecting with our negative emotions but what about the positive ones, how often you do you let them hang around.  She wants us to feel our emotions, express them, perceive them and learn to leverage them.

What I loved about my interview with MC was that I kind of knew what she meant but her articulation to clarify or simplify a point made getting concepts or connecting with my emotions so much easier.  I felt after this interview that I could deal with my emotions better!

Like MC I want to live to over 100 years old and she believes the secret to getting there is harnessing the power of your emotions and using them. This was a very thought provoking conversation.

Thank you MC for taking us on an emotional journey! (pardon the pun) I can see now through our conversation how powerful emotions can be and how they can dictate our success now and in the future. This is a challenge we've all accepted in our own way and I guess it is one that never has an ending because we are always embracing an emotion along our life path.  Thank you!

 

More Women Entrepreneur interviews via our website www.thelearningcurvepodcast.com

 

Feb 18, 2017

'The Learning Curve Podcast - THE Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East.

I'd like you to meet Tara Rogers - Ellis - The Co-founder of Mojo PR and Board Member of Reach Mentoring. Let me start with this - I openly asked for a job after this interview.  I didn't get one and I know little about Public relations but, really, that would be a lovely company to work at. Tara and her team have such a collaborative energy that I felt completely at home there. Tara is the kind of boss I would like to have. She's been in the industry for some time and she's basically seen it all, she's calm, she's a communicator and she's a solutions person. These are, in my opinion, all the attributes of  seasoned entrepreneur.

​My greatest learning and message that I took away from my conversation with Tara was the power of giving more in value. Tara demonstrated that power when she talks about one client relationship she has in the podcast.  Value shows your commitment to your clients as well as the confidence you have in your product or services. 

​Her work with Reach Mentoring as been her outlet to develop and nurture professional women in the Middle East.  Through this non profit platform, of which she is a co-founder and board member, Reach Mentoring matches mentors and mentees and together they work towards helping the mentee achieve her career goals and objectives.  Tara shares more about how important this journey has been to her in this episode.

In this episode Tara shares more about her career from corporate to going entrepreneurial. She talks about her winning her first client and what that was like.  She shares her scariest decision and what she has learnt along the way.  She shares that belief and passion count for so much and we need to try to remember that when things get tough.  She also gives us a glimpse into her long term vision for Mojo PR and how she is driving that vision forward.

​Thank you Tara for sharing your story with us.  You shared some great advise about the power of value, commitment and learning all of which are primary to our success in what ever career choice or entrepreneurial venture we pursue. I also think you business name 'Mojo' is awesome, it suits your business style and your ethos..  Thank you!

Visit our website www.thelearningcurvepodcast.com - to see more of our interviews with women entrepreneurs in the Middle East.

 

Feb 13, 2017

'The Learning Curve Podcast - THE Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East.

Meet Ayshwarya Chari - the mum business woman behind Kidore - the UAE's one stop online kids' shop where everything is under AED 100 or US$27/-.  What a refreshing business opportunity to create in an economy where we are usually flooded with high end designer brands which not all of us can afford. 

​Kidore has been very well received by the community. So much so, that Ayshwarya maintains an accessible and open communication with her customers. She's often receiving advice, ideas and feedback from her customers.  She's a leader who is right at the front setting the pace and the direction. She's keen to learn, improve and excel and be a platform that is customer focused and keen to make shopping online accessible to all. She wants all her customers to know they will be heard.  That difference will help her stand out.

​In this episode Ayshwarya share her entrepreneurial journey with us.  She shares how as a young girl she used to dress up in suit and pick up her brief case and pretend to be the boss. She'd imagine herself running a company and making decisions.  When she moved to Dubai her career choice was microbiology but there wasn't much opportunity for that so she went into banking. She loved sales and working with people.  Today she's on to her second entrepreneurial adventure and in the episode she shares her journey, her learning curve and what keeps her pushing and striving for more in her business.

​Persistence has been a core trait to help her achieve the Kidore goal. She recognizes too that as Kidore grows and more opportunities come around she will have to let go a little and this is something she says she needs to work on but that's OK, we all struggle with that. It's a nice problem to have when your business is meeting all its objectives.

Thank you Ayshwarya for sharing your journey with us. You shared some awesome knowledge nuggets and I loved the phrase JOMO - or the Joy Of Missing Out.  A phrase I'll be using when I need to stay focused and don't need to be involved with everything.  My big take away is 'be persistent and keep an eye on your goal' - that's something you have focused on and when I feel like throwing in the towel I will remind myself of this episode. Thanks Ayshwarya.

Don't forget to check out our other episodes of women entrepreneurs in the Middle East via our Website.  www.thelearningcurvepodcast.com

 

Feb 6, 2017

'The Learning Curve Podcast - THE Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East.

'Your smile is a reflection of yourself, it's what people see first, why not make it part of your beauty routine' - this is what Maissa Fattal, founder of Ibtisama is sharing with us. She's building a business here in the UAE that makes us all feel great about our smile.  Her teeth whitening products are chemical free, organic and 100% safe.  Maissa recognized that there was a gap in the market for cosmetic treatment for our teeth so she has spent the last year building a business around this.  In the early days she had to spend a lot of time educating her audience that her treatment was not like going to the dentist but more like going to the spa or the beauty salon. 

​Ibtisama is the Arabic word for smile and this is part of her core philosophy for her business. She wants you to leave her outlet knowing that you have given your smile a pampering and feeling great about yourself.

​Before her venture into the cosmetic business, Maissa was a lawyer. Defending the undesirables of this world in her country of Switzerland.  She started her lawyer career at the early age of 21 and by 25 had started her own law firm.  Her legal career solidified some core skills in her and that is determination, discipline and a solutions person. She likes to face her problems face on and works hard to solve them to achieve a positive outcome for us all. 

​Maissa is a strong, focused women and her success in her first year of her business is a reflection of her keenness to follow her passion. She's been on a steep learning curve, learning all that she needs to build her business and achieve success.  As you will hear in the interview she isn't one to give up quickly.

​I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with Maissa, she truly is a woman on a mission and keen to spread more smile stories to the people of the UAE. Her energy is motivated and her discipline in strong. I'm sure you will enjoy the lessons she brings to the podcast and her reminder to always challenge our own views about ourselves and our businesses.   Being humble helps us stay grounded and open.  Thanks Maissa.

Jan 30, 2017

'The Learning Curve Podcast - THE Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East.

Meet Assia Riccio - Smith, the founder of Evolvin' Women. A platform designed to help the women of the hospitality industry connect, grow, learn and excel. A platform where knowledge experts can help the women of the hospitality industy evolve.  Assia recognized that as women in the hospitality industry climbed the ladder there was less and less of them.  She recognized there was a gap and a disconnect between women in senior hospitality positions and those in junior positions so she decided to create a space where there could be a space to exchange learning, insight, experiences and advice.  

Assia has this awesome quote which says 'if you are not sitting at the table then you will be on the menu'. Its a phrase that can reflect anyone in any industry.  She's basically saying if you are not present, focused and engaged in your company's business goals then you could miss out not only in opportunities but in personal growth and connection. 

Assia is a natural communicator and people person, I can totally see why she's found herself in the hospitality industry and nurturing people's talents and skills. Evolvin' Women is a reflection of that.  She wants women to own their development by seeking out trainers, coaches, mentors and industry experts through her platform and give them the space to connect and own their futures.  She wants women to embrace their talents and build on them.  She wants women to recognize their failures, learn from the feedback and grow.

In this episode Assia takes us on her entrepreneurial journey from career hospitality girl to a woman driving a new initiative. She gives us insight into what she has learnt and how she plans to help women own their futures and their plans to grow within the hospitality industry.  

Her bubbly personally shines through in this episode and it was a delight to share the space with a woman keen to put women firmly back at the table with the tools and techniques to help them evolve their careers. Thanks Assia.

Jan 23, 2017

The Learning Curve Podcast - THE Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East.

Meet Claire Donnelly, a solid HR Consultant with over 30 years experience in the profession.  In her words, there isn't a HR problem she hasn't seen.  She is the Co-founder of MHC Consulting who's mission is to give business owner back their freedom and allow them to grow their team and business in a sustainable, manageable and more enjoyable way.

Claire is first and foremost a solution provider.  MHC Consulting aim to go into a business, help discover the root causes of key problems the business owner maybe suffering and help solve them.  They help business owners recognise when they are stuck and spending too much time working in the business as opposed to 'on' the business.  A crucial difference.

Claire takes on the role of an outsourced HR Director for many business owners.  On behalf on a client she will get involved in the HR operations of a business and help the business owner make the right decision so that all HR decisions are cost efficient to the business and have a positive effect on the health of the business.  As she says in the episode HR does affect a company's Profit and Loss Accounts.

Hiring Millennials is also discussed and she gives us some insightful advise on what they are looking for and what a businesses approach and style should be to help employ and retain millennials employees.  

Claire was very open and insightful into the world of HR and how professionals like her do need be part of the corporate decision making because at the end of the day people run your business and the right people will help you grow and build your business.

In this episode Claire shares how she got started in HR and what her career has taught her. She shares how she can help and support SME's and large corporations today. She offers up some great tips and ideas too that we should all be thinking about when it comes to managing your team as well as your business.  

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Claire's journey and discovering the nuggets of knowledge she has in her head.  She's a smart and talented women and would be a great asset to company looking to get advise and direction on their business and HR strategy. 

Listen to more Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East - 2015 & 2016

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