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Elissa Freiha: An Entrepreneurial Pivot That Brought Success To Purpose


Elissa Freiha is an entrepreneur, investor, public speaker and women’s rights advocate. At the age of 24 she started an angel investment network – and when the business tanked, she pivoted Womena towards an accelerator that promotes female inclusion in the Middle East’s tech start-up sector.

As a prominent speaker on women’s involvement in entrepreneurship and active angel investor with over 30 investments between North America and MENA, Elissa has been frequently recognized in various media outlets, appearing on BBC’s 30 under 30, Arabian Business’ “100 World’s Most Influential Arabs”, “Entrepreneur of the year 2019” by One Young World, and the 2020 Forbes Middle East list of power business women.

This episode explores two main themes… The first is the entrepreneurial pivot (what it looks like, why pivot, how pivot, what are key success factors)? For those of you who aren’t sure what a pivot is, it’s when somebody starts a business and it is NOT going well (ie most start-ups), and instead of shutting down, they change tack and test a new business model. Successful turn-arounds are great to learn from, whether you’re an entrepreneur, aspiring entrepreneur or investor. The second theme? We took on the patriarchy – of course!

My favorite quote of the episode was: “What’s interesting about success is, when it’s perceived it often manifests.” And Elissa’s book recommendation was The Greater Freedom by Alya Mooro.

You can find Elissa on Twitter and Instagram.

Please do get in touch with the team at When Women Win and let us know what you think of this episode or the show in general. You can reach us via InstagramLinkedIn – or the web contact form. Thank you!