Confirm your email address to access
HOT TIPS OF THE MONTH
THAT HELP YOU WIN
Sent Directly by me
Yes, Sign me up for Rana's monthly tips, emails, direct communication and online content.

This form collects your email address so that our team can send you monthly hot tips. Occasionally you will receive emails and updates as well. Please check our Privacy Policy to see how we protect and manage your submitted data.

women empowerment

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!

Norma Taki, Partner at PwC: Winning in the Corporate World


Norma Taki is a partner at PwC, has over 21 years of experience with the firm and leads their Retail and Consumer Markets Practice across the Middle East. She has executed numerous financial due diligence deals and valuation projects across various retail sectors, from fashion to F&B to manufacturing. She also has extensive experience in financial due diligence in the Healthcare, Education and Telco sectors. On top of her day job, Norma leads PwC ME’s Diversity and Inclusion initiative.

We talked about the fundamentals of corporate life, and the way women’s challenges change over time as you rise in the pyramid and become more senior. We discussed managing the Imposter Syndrome and navigating the sensitivities of self-promotion. We talked about mentorship and sponsorship, the myth of women “opting out” and the role of a D&I leader. Finally, we got technical as I wanted to learn from the ultimate industry expert what the retail trends are globally and how they compare in the Middle East.

There are so many quotes I could pull out, but I’ll restrict it to these two:

  • On celebrating one’s successes: “I will share why I’m proud we won this project”.
  • On the Imposter Syndrome: “you’re in year 1, I’m in year 35 – if at year 35 I don’t have the success that I do – then I’ve failed.”

You can find Norma on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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!

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!