May 13th, 2018, Dubai (UAE): The Inaugural edition of the Middle East Mompreneur forum took place yesterday, Tuesday the 8th of May at the Zabeel Ladies Club. The event saw over 200 women in attendance, with a vested interest in gaining insight, motivation and teachings from some of the region’s most successful mom-entrepreneurs. Moreover, the platform encouraged attendees to network with like-minded mompreneurs and foster potential business partnerships.
The forum welcomed mom-entrepreneurs and business executives alike with panels and talks centred around the key issues and challenges women confront in the current economy, aptly themed “Freedom of Choice”.
“Freedom of Choice, as simple as it sounds, is all that we need in life: The freedom to choose a life that is meaningful to us, and one which is not defined by society or other people’s point of view. That will be different for everyone. It’s essential to make those choices, own them and respect others for their choices in their lives.” – Expressed Mona Tavassoli, Founder and CEO of Mompreneurs Middle east and Organiser.
The morning kicked off with a panel discussion led by Mariam Farag alongside keynote speakers- Mona Ataya, Helen McGuire, Lucy chow and Aida Al Busaidy, talking about work life integration, the challenges of being a working mom as well as growing and balancing two full time jobs i.e. being a mummy and an entrepreneur.
This was followed by a special panel of ‘Dad-preneurs’. The lineup of speakers included: Omar Chihane, Sellamyhome.com, Ibrahim Colak, Co-Owner of Mr Usta and Mustafa Koita, Owner of Koita who gave a refreshing insight into successfully managing their businesses from home, especially at their early stages, ignored to foster a healthy work-life balance in turn.
The panels concluded with an inspiring conversation with Her Excellency Sara Al Madani , who talked at length about her journey to success alongside her failures and learnings, empowered by ‘never let anyone tell her that she couldn’t do something!’
Post the panel discussions, the floor opened up for a mentoring session, which saw 13 mentors facilitate different topics, these included: Fundraising, Marketing, Financials, Networking, Leadership, PR, etc.
Furthermore, A select few Mompreneurs in the room were awarded for excelling in their categories :
-) Inspirational Mompreneur : Sophie Le Ray (Naseba)
-) Leading Emirati Mompreneur : Sara Al Madani (Serial Entrepreneur)
-) Mother of Perseverance : Helen Al Uzaizi (BizWorld UAE)
-) Mother of Community Support : Mariam Farag (MBC Hope)
-) Champion of Entrepreneurship : Creative Zone
-) Mother of Mentoring L Adela Acevedo (e7 Banat)
-) Mother of Angels : Women’s Angel Investor Network
There also was a Pitch Competition and 9 women entrepreneurs pitched their ideas:
One of the winner was Radwa Hamaky from Mama Feshoghl, MBC hope women entrepreneurs, traveled from Egypt for this event, Marianne Azhari, from True Reflection and Eva Mezher, from WE Organic are both members of Mompreneur Rising Alumnae.
In conclusion, The forum was a phenomenal success, actively attracting momprenuers from across the region in support of one other. The next edition will be taking place in the last quarter of 2018 with event themed as “Financial Freedom”