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entrepreneur

Blockchain 101 – Plus Entrepreneurship & Zebras


This episode is for people who have felt intimidated or excluded by Blockchain conversations and want to understand the basics. We also get into the reality of entrepreneurship. A huge thanks to the Australian Government for supporting When Women Win.

Leanne Kemp is the Founder and CEO of Everledger, a company that uses Blockchain technology to track high-value assets such as diamonds and art. Leanne is recognised internationally as an innovator and leader in the technology sector. A serial entrepreneur, in 2018 Leanne was appointed the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur to develop the state’s startup ecosystem, attract investment and support job creation. She is the first woman entrepreneur to hold this post.

Leanne is an expert advisor to the World Economic Forum and the IBM Blockchain Platform Board of Advisors. She has won many awards including Australia’s Innovator of the Year – twice.

We discussed the basics of Blockchain and how the ledger enables traceability, so acting as a weapon against opacity. We talked about Leanne’s own journey as an entrepreneur, and how Queensland is working to foster an environment of innovation and cooperation. I was amazed by their focus on mental health, and how the Govt has created a Mental Health Toolkit for entrepreneurs.

My favorite quote of the episode was one that captured a huge advantage of the Blockchain: “In future, you’ll be able to check social media posts & news articles and know whether it is fake news”. I look forward to that! I also loved Leanne’s take on start-ups: “we don’t like [to talk about] unicorns but we like to talk about zebras”.

You can find Leanne on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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This episode has been brought to you by the Council for Australian-Arab Relations (CAAR) – an entity within Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade. CAAR supports projects which enhance Australia’s economic, cultural and social relations with the Arab world. Gender equality is one of their focus areas, along with innovation, culture, education & sports. We are grateful for their support.

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Please drop us a note or take this 1-minute survey to propose topics or guests you’d like to see on future shows. Thank you!

Carla Harris: Navigating Wall Street Through Sponsorship & Authenticity


Carla Harris is a gospel singer who has sold out 5 concerts in Carnegie Hall. She is also a Vice Chair and Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, the global investment bank – and is responsible for increasing client connectivity and penetration to enhance revenue generation across the firm. Over her 30 year career, Carla has worked across numerous industries and executed many IPOs, from UPS to Martha Stewart Living.

In August 2013, Carla was appointed by President Barack Obama to chair the National Women’s Business Council. She is the past Chair of the Board of the Morgan Stanley Foundation and of The Executive Leadership Council, and currently sits on several NGO boards. Carla is the author of two books, Strategize to Win (2014) and of Expect to Win (2009), and has been named on lists like:

  • “The 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in Corporate America”
  • “Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Finance”
  • “Top 75 African Americans on Wall Street”

We talked about the obstacles Carla faced rising through Corporate and how she overcame them – lots of practical tips here! We discussed how to identify and approach a sponsor, and how to be one yourself. We talked about owning one’s power and voice, and how one must always speak up for themselves and others.

My favorite quotes of the episode were:

  • “Nobody can be you the way that you can be you”, and
  • “I demonstrated that I was listening – and everybody values being heard”

You can find Carla on social media at @carlaspearls or at her website www.carlaspearls.com . A huge thank you to the 2020 Global Women’s Forum Dubai for making this interview possible.

We would love to hear from you! Please drop us a note or take this 1-minute survey to propose topics or guests you’d like to see on future shows.  Thank you!

Kristalina Georgieva: Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)


How did a woman born into communist Bulgaria rise to lead one of the most powerful institutions on earth? This is the question I asked Kristalina Georgieva, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, and the first person from an emerging-market economy to head the world’s crisis lender with its $1 trillion in resources.

I had the pleasure of spending time with Kristalina at the 2020 Global Women’s Forum Dubai, and we delved into her personal story, the forks in the road and the choices she made that led to this role. I asked Kristalina for advice to women on the rise, as well as the key takeaways from the IMF’s recent report on the power of diversity.

Prior to the IMF, Kristalina was the CEO of the World Bank for two years, before which she served as European Commission Vice President for Budget and Human Resources, overseeing the EU’s €161 billion budget and 33,000 staff. In that capacity, she was deeply involved in efforts to address the Euro Area debt crisis and the 2015 refugee crisis. From 2010-2014, Kristalina was Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, managing one of the world’s largest humanitarian aid budgets – during our chat, she referred to this experience as a formative one. In 2010, she was named “European of the Year” for her leadership in the EU’s humanitarian response to crises.

My favorite quotes of the episode were:

  • “We gain nothing from anxiety… And a smile opens more doors than a shout”
  • “I saw what real tragedy is, and I saw how people who have nothing can be generous and kind and supportive to each other… I learn from them”

We did not talk about books, but Kristalina did recommend a movie called Bridge of Spies. We ended our chat with a call to action: the IMF is looking to hire women from the MENA Region with a strong background in economic policy… “Don’t be shy; please apply!”

You can find Kristalina on Twitter and LinkedIn. A huge thank you to the 2020 Global Women’s Forum Dubai, where this episode was recorded.

The team at When Women Win would love to hear from you… Please drop us a note or take this 1-minute survey to propose topics or guests you’d like to see on future shows.  Thank you!

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!

Nadine Mezher: Owning Your Financial Independence


Most women on earth will have to make financial decisions on their own at some point in their life, due to divorce or longer life expectancy. We therefore need to educate, enable and embolden ourselves – as well as our children – so that we can all own our financial independence. This episode is for people who want to learn about investing cheaply and/ or people thinking of entrepreneurship.

Nadine Mezher is the co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of award-winning Fintech start-up Sarwa, the first automated investment advisory platform in the Middle East – one that’s accessible from all over the planet. Sarwa is trying to make investing more accessible to the masses, through low minimum investment amounts and extremely low fees. Like other robo-advisory platforms, they’re democratising investing. And there is clearly demand: just 2 years into its existence, Sarwa has won loads of competitions and raised 3 rounds of funding…

Nadine co-founded Sarwa after years of being a retail consultant to large public and private sector clients. Prior to that, she was in fashion management and marketing across various industries. Nadine was named MENA Achieving Women 2019 by Entrepreneur Middle East Magazine.

What did we talk about? Initially, it was trees… I know it sounds weird, but this bit is going to interest & surprise you. It takes us a few minutes to get into investing: the mistakes that people typically make, and how we can avoid them using the 4 rules of investing. She had some data to back up what I knew anecdotally: that most everyday “financial advisors” underperform the market. We discussed her experience as an entrepreneur and the challenges she faces every day, both in business and as a mom. And finally, we talked about the ingredients of success as well as the failures along the way.

My favorite quotes of the episode were:

  • “You only incur the loss when you pull out of the market”
  • “I’m not someone who thinks that there’s one career path per person”
  • “Failure is part of the learning process for me”

You can find Nadine on LinkedIn or at www.sarwa.co.

As mentioned on the show, we’d like to highlight some young women-owned start-ups over the 2019 Christmas holidays… Please email producer@rananawas.com between December 16th & 23rd a 30-50 second video telling us about your business. Two videos will be selected per week – four in total. Please keep the video snappy – and if you’d like some help creating it, check out my new YouTube video on crafting a badass Elevator Pitch.

Do keep an eye on our social media platforms as some changes are planned for 2020! If you enjoy the podcast and are an iTunes user, dropping us a rating and review would be the best Christmas present ever 😊

The team here wishes you a glorious festive season – you need it and deserve it. We’ll be back on air on Monday January 6th. Happy Holidays!

Arlan Hamilton: Built a Venture Capital Fund While Homeless


This episode was recorded in front of a live audience at the 2019 Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival, an incredible get-together that’s been running for 3 years… Each of those 3 years, I’ve been invited to do a When Women Win interview live on stage. It’s when I first met the Melltoo founders, a hilarious husband/ wife entrepreneurial team; where I interviewed Donna Benton – one of Dubai’s most successful entrepreneurs EVER, and this year’s guest was a remarkable human who flew over from Los Angeles to join us…

Arlan Hamilton built a venture capital fund while homeless. She is the Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, a fund that is dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders from underrepresented groups.

Started from scratch in 2015, Backstage has now invested nearly $7m into 130 startups led by underestimated founders. Arlan has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, and was recently named on Fortune magazine’s 40 under 40 list.

We talked about Arlan’s journey, from sleeping rough to building a multi-million dollar fund. We discussed the underrepresented founders she invests in and what she has learnt from them; advice for entrepreneurs and investors; and the two factors she has found that often differentiate the more successful start-ups from the rest. We talked about looking after yourself as well as others, and how to cope with the immense stress of having others – families – relying on you. We talked about Arlan’s podcast “Your First Million”, her upcoming book “It’s About Damn Time”, the meaning of failure and the impact of success.

There were so many fantastic quotes – here are just two:

  • “Investors should invest in start-ups led by people who have a little bit of a chip on their shoulder”
  • “The seed doesn’t see the petal”

Arlan had two book recommendations: her own book which is available on pre-order, to be released in May 2020 😊 “It’s About Damn Time”, and The Memo by Minda Harts.

You can find Arlan on Twitter and Instagram @arlanwashere.

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!

Dima Ayad: the Business of Inclusive Fashion


Dima Ayad began her career in hospitality, developing restaurant and entertainment concepts for leading hotel chains like Kerzner, Raffles and Jumeirah. During her 15 year tenure, she launched restaurants like Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen, and award-winning music festivals like Sandance.

Whilst still working full-time in hospitality, a difficult personal experience led Dima to address a problem that she had struggled with for years: her clothing size (12/14 US) just wasn’t available. She began making her own evening gowns, and eventually created her eponymous label (Dima Ayad) for women of all shapes and sizes. A few years in, the brand took off and Dima left hospitality to devote herself entirely to her mission: to make luxury fashion accessible to women of all sizes.

We talked about how she was essentially forced to address the market gap, and how she has scaled her business – failures, challenges, and tips for success. We discussed what “plus size” and “luxury fashion” actually mean, why clothes are not available in sizes that would fit more than half the population and how the global idea of beauty has morphed over time from Marilyn Monroe to Kate Moss. We also touched on sustainability in fashion and how wasteful it is as an industry. Maybe the biggest lesson I took away is the massive impact that clothes can have on your mood and your day, how clothes can be empowering or the opposite. Dima gave a fantastically relatable example – I hope you’ll listen to it.

My favorite quote was “There’s something so beautiful about being yourself”. And Dima’s book recommendation was Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie.

You can find Dima at her website or on 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 InstagramTwitter, LinkedIn. Thank you!

Anne-Marie Slaughter: Journey to Parity For Men and Women


Anne-Marie Slaughter is the CEO of New America, a think and action tank dedicated to renewing America in the Digital Age. She has been a law professor at Harvard, as well as a professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University and has written or edited 8 books. From 2009–2011, Anne-Marie served as director of policy planning for the United States Department of State. It was this experience that led her to pen a ground-breaking article in 2012: “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All”.

Anne-Marie’s point of view was a shock to the corporate system. Here was one of the most powerful women on planet earth saying that combining family and career in today’s work construct was just not possible. In the first four days after publication, the Atlantic article attracted 725,000 unique readers, making it the most popular piece ever published in that magazine.

I had the immense pleasure of interviewing Anne-Marie recently, at the Nexus Summit in New York. I wanted to know whether her views had changed in any way over the past 7 years. We also talked about how people react to businesswomen taking time out for personal reasons and how organisations need to level the playing field. We discussed the role of men and what they need from the parity movement. We talked about her latest book, The Chessboard and the Web; and Anne-Marie shared a sure-fire tip on how to get more done in a day.

My favorite quote was a sobering one: “Life happens… somebody has to make the choice for care over career, and our society is structured such that people who do that are radically devalued”.

You can find Anne-Marie on Twitter and at https://www.newamerica.org/

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 InstagramTwitter, LinkedIn – or the contact form on the home page. Thank you!

Supercar Blondie: the World’s #1 Reviewer of Supercars


Alex Hirschi, otherwise known as Supercar Blondie, does video reviews of the world’s fastest and rarest cars. She is an Australian woman living in Dubai, and has 16 million followers across multiple social media channels.

Alex & I talked about her journey from small town Australia to becoming the world’s most popular supercar reviewer: the challenges in starting a side hustle while having a full-time job, working with your spouse, trying to break into a male-dominated world, coping with bullies, how blonde she actually is – and much, much more! Hundreds of fans sent questions in via the When Women Win Instagram page, and many of them were answered.

This show was raw and real. One of my favorite quotes was her advice to women who are struggling in male-dominant worlds: “keep showing up”. Supercar Blondie’s book recommendation is I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes.

You can find Supercar Blondie on Instagram and YouTube.

Why not 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 InstagramTwitter, LinkedIn – or the contact form on the home page. Thank you!