By : Taha Sakr
While countries in all parts of the earth celebrate International Women’s Day during the month of March, Saudi Arabia pays unique attention to all women entrepreneurs in the Kingdom, especially after choosing Riyadh as the capital of Arab women 2020, in conjunction with the Kingdom’s embrace of the twentieth summit scheduled for next November.
On this occasion, the Leaders KSA magazine celebrates Saudi women, and highlights the most famous female entrepreneurs who have been able to write a new history for empowering women and their ability to overcome difficulties in order to achieve self in a society that guarantees their rights and works to enhance their participation in accordance with the Vision 2030.
In the first part of the report, we highlight the female entrepreneurs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whose success has reached the global level, with self-efforts and unparalleled achievements.
Iman Abdel Shakour – Blossom
Iman Abdel Shakour is considered one of the smallest women entrepreneurs in the world. The 26-year-old managed to draw global attention to her dedication and determination to work after the founding of Blossom Company, which aims to empower women’s companies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the MENA region; by providing new job opportunities and linking entrepreneurs to the technology field.
The biggest challenge Iman Abdel Shakour faced was that she suffered from epilepsy; however, he did not lose her resolve, as she studied at the University of San Diego in the United States of America, and led her to specialize in neuroscience, worked in California for a period, then decided to return to the city Jeddah – her birthplace – and joined a job in “Karim” company until she resigned and started her own company.
Iman Abdel Shakour was invited to the “Davos World Economic” conference among the young leaders representing 50 countries, and there she met Bill Gates, the founder of “Microsoft”, and also Sander Pichai, CEO of “Google”.
Sarah Al-Ayed – TRACCS
One of Saudi Arabia’s leading businesswomen, Sarah Al Ayed co-founded TRACCS with Mohamed Al Ayed in 1998, becoming the first Saudi woman to forge into the public relations sphere. Today, TRACCS has become the largest independent communications consultancy in the Middle East and North Africa, with a network of 14 offices across 13 markets in the region.
As the company’s Chief Strategy Officer, Sarah is responsible for driving innovation and steering corporate strategy by leveraging her extensive experience and strong relationship-building skills. Her expansive connections and well-honed business acumen have played a central role in strengthening the company’s brand presence and industry-leading reputation throughout the region and beyond.
A passionate advocate for entrepreneurship and women’s empowerment, Sarah is the founder of The Art of Business Communication, which enables young professionals seeking careers in business to develop and enhance their communication skills. Since the program’s inception, Sarah has personally mentored and coached over 120 young Arab women and has funded and helped launch a number of entrepreneurial ventures, with more young females currently working to initiate their projects.
In the past, she also chaired the Jeddah Entrepreneurs Meet and Competition, which focused on developing the entrepreneurial infrastructure and environment in Saudi Arabia and benefitted more than 60,000 budding entrepreneurs and students.
In April 2019, Sarah was appointed as a member of the board of the Jeddah Chamber by His Excellency Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qassabi, the Saudi Minister of Commerce.
In 2013, she was ranked among Forbes Middle East’s Most Influential Women from the Arab World in Family Business and continues to channel her efforts towards strengthening the Kingdom’s position as a leading hub for small and media-sized companies.
Lulwa Al-Sudairy – Artestia Portal
Lulwah Al-Sudairy, Saudi business leader, held the position of CEO and co-founder of the site and the electronic market “Artistia”, an electronic platform that aims to facilitate online shopping, and seeks to facilitate the process of obtaining handcrafted and handmade pieces, by selling paintings, accessories, clothes , And interiors designed by local artists.
The project aims to support artists, designers and craftsmen, and bring them to the widest possible segment of the Arab community, and the site was chosen within the “Forbes” magazine list of the 50 best Saudi startups for the year 2016, ranking No. 41.
She held the position of business advisor at the Harvard Medical School, and worked as a social responsibility coordinator at BMG Financial Group between 2011 and 2012, and a program organizer at “Intellect” between 2010 and 2012 in the Kingdom, and is also a board member in “Mansour Al-Masaad” group since 2017.
Lulwa obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems Management in 2011 from the University Of Dar Al-Hekma Saudi Arabia, then a Master’s degree in Business Administration in 2015 from Babson University in the United States of America.
Sefana Dahlan – Tashkeel International Company
Advocate Sefana Dahlan is considered one of the most prominent women entrepreneurs in the Kingdom. She founded “Tashkeel” International, a consulting company that develops local programs and initiatives, with the aim of providing a positive impact on the social level.
She is one of the founders of the Saudi National Initiative for Innovation, and the Ambassador of Women Entrepreneurship Day in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since 2014, knowing that she is the first Saudi woman to participate in the United Nations Fellowship of the Alliance of Civilizations, and was honored at the World Economic Forum as a “young global leader”.
Sefana holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Law from Cairo University in Egypt, and a Master’s in Business Administration from the American University of Technology in Lebanon.