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Helen Al Uzaizi

We had the pleasure of sitting down with the inspirational Mompreneur behind one of Dubai’s business stars, Future Entrepreneurs, BizWorld UAE, BizWorld Jordan, Helen Al Uzaizi.

Mompreneurs ME: Tell us about your company…

Helen: We do entrepreneurship and financial literacy education for children aged 8-15. We do this with schools, workshops, youth organizations and work with young children on developing their entrepreneurial mind-set and spirit to prepare them for the ever-changing world.

Mompreneurs ME: How did the idea of starting it come about and who inspired you?

Helen: The idea came about in the middle of the night on April 1st 2016. My husband showed me a tweet about a company in the US that works on entrepreneurship with kids and I realized no one is working on the educational side of this much needed skill. Whether they decide to have an entrepreneurial journey or not, the mind-set means that we are developing creativity, resilience, empathy and much more.

Mompreneurs ME: What is the best part of what you do and the toughest?

Helen: Best part, by far, is working with the kids and seeing the excitement they feel when they go through the projects and take on roles like company CEO and VP of finance. They have so much positive energy and passion and it just makes me over the moon when I work with them. Can’t imagine anything more fulfilling.

The toughest has been to get into schools. Although they are all interested and want to integrate the program into their curricula, there are so many layers and levels that it takes a long time to get through. There’s also a lot of bureaucracy when it comes to the education systems and frameworks that it is difficult to stay patient and passionate when you spend so much of your time doing paper work. I want to just get on with it and do great things with these kids and then there’s always one more document, one more approval, one more requirement and it gets daunting at times especially as I am working on a regional level and dealing with the UAE, Jordan, Egypt and now starting to look into Saudi Arabia as well.

Mompreneurs ME: How many kids do you have and how old are they?

Helen: I have two girls, 9 and 6 years old.

Mompreneurs ME: How do you juggle work and life balance

Helen: They aren’t always perfectly aligned and sometimes I do have to prioritize one over the other for a short period of time. I think the realization that it will not always be perfectly balanced is what helps a lot. I do most of the things that I do for me (working out, reading) in the morning as early as 4:30am and that way I release the sense of guilt that a lot of moms have. I also prioritize things depending on the days and what I have planned – I have an incredible agenda/ journal that I rely on which I use to plan my week ahead and spend a few minutes every evening planning the next day and seeing what I can do when. I think the two key things are:

  1. Not everything needs to be perfect – there won’t always be a perfect balance, I won’t always look perfect, I don’t need to be perfect!
  2. Planning and organizing my days ahead of time (while knowing that things can change)

Mompreneurs ME: What’s a book you always recommend and why?

Helen: Jack Canfield – The Success Principles. It was given to me by my mentor and changed my life and anyone who I have gifted it to says the same. The first chapter of the book sums it all. Take 100% accountability. For your life, your choices, your days. The minute we understand that we have choices and hold ourselves accountable, we stop blaming people and the world and take ownership and control of the situation (empower ourselves) and that is when we can create the change we want to see, whether it is within ourselves, our work, our family life or environment. 100% accountability and that is true self-empowerment.

Mompreneurs ME: What advice would you give a Mompreneur who was just starting out?

Helen: Don’t forget to take care of yourself. We can get so caught up in setting up a business and working on managing ‘everything’ that we forget ourselves. If your cup is not full, you can’t quench anyones thirst. This applies to the simple things like having time to meditate, read, plan your day, work out or even getting your nails done, massage or whatever it is that makes YOU happy and feel fulfilled. I believe many Mompreneurs think being overwhelmed and neglecting themselves is part of the process, but it does not have to be. Even something as simple at 10 minutes a day for YOU to do what YOU want can make all the difference in the world – your patience, your understanding, your giving will all benefit from you taking care of yourself.

Mompreneurs ME: Your favorite quote is…

Helen: I have many but ever since I started triathlon and did my first IronMan70.3, the slogan that they use is ‘Anything is Possible’ and it is something I truly believe in. I don’t like saying ‘Nothing is Impossible’… it feels negative… but Anything is Possible is full of dreams, hopes, and gives me the feeling that whatever I set my mind to, I can do and I believe everyone has that power. So, Anything is Possible would be my favorite quote.

Karin Drane

We had the pleasure of sitting down with the inspirational Mompreneur behind one of Dubai’s business stars, Curveball Events & Talents, Karin Drane.

Mompreneurs ME: Tell us about your company

Karin: We are an event and talent company that puts a personal spin on things and specialize in longterm collaborations with our clients. Our team is young and fresh in terms of ideas but old school and wise in terms of the quality we provide. We handle promotions and roadshows, product launches, corporate events and bespoke weddings but we also support many clients with video production and customized giveaways.

Our talent division exclusively represents Kris Fade, Priti Malik, Big Rossi, Brent Black and Maz Hakim from Virgin Radio, Malavika Varadan from City 101.6 as well as Karen McLean who is also known as Secret Squirrel Food.

Mompreneurs ME: How did the idea of starting it come about and who inspired you?

Karin: In my case it was a combination of two things: demand from the market (long term clients requesting my services) and a wish to do things my way so it was somehow inevitable to have my own. In terms of the talent management part that developed after working with Kris Fade for the first time. We got along great and shared the same ethics so it was a no-brainer.

My biggest inspiration and mentor was my previous boss Dr Ramesh Ramachandran. Working under him was incredible and I watched first hand how much of a difference there is between managing and leading as well as how much leadership affected the company and its results.

Mompreneurs ME: What is the best part of what you do and the toughest?

Karin: The best part is that we have a lot of versatility in our job and get to work with a lot of young people. In our industry you’re pretty much always working, but never really working since you have so much fun doing it. One day we’re customizing flower arrangements for a launch, the other day we are looking into how skydiving can be branded or doing a sampling campaign in Dubai Mall. The next day we are planning Kris’ trip to attend the Oscars, filming Karen McLean making something yummy or setting up a boxing ring and another day we’re on the beach in 40 degrees setting up a wedding. You get the picture. Most of the time we engage promoters in their early 20s who are either working to make extra money for that bag they always dreamed of or to pay their studies or even help the household with money. It is a humbling experience to be able to contribute to that.

The toughest part is probably client retention. The competition here is fierce and although I believe a client can never be stolen; they can of course be tempted to try someone else if you drop the ball and lose your edge. It is tough to stay ahead here. Forget staying on top of your game, you need to RAISE your game. Every. Single. Day.

Mompreneurs ME: How many kids do you have and how old are they?

Karin: I have twin daughters who just turned 2 years old.

Mompreneurs ME: How do you juggle work and life balance?

Karin: Well for starters I think it is safe to say my social life has taken a hit. And everything is most of the time upside down. But I have embraced the chaos so to say. There are only so many hours in a day and when you have children your priorities change drastically. Being somewhat of a workaholic I am well aware of the fact that I can find things to do 24/7 so I found balance by making a schedule and sticking to it. I usually spend time with my children in the morning and leave the house before they go down for their 12 o’clock nap. If weather allows it they either walk me to work or come and pick me up so we get some light exercise in. I try to spend quality time with them from coming home to when they sleep and drop everything else unless it is something really urgent. Luckily with my work I can also bring them along to fun experiences. Granted they did not see the full joy of Taste of Dubai this year for instance but as they grow older I see my work as something that actually enhances their life rather than taking mommy away from them.

Mompreneurs ME: What’s a book you always recommend and why?

Karin: I would say it is a tie between The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell . Both of them provide mind boggling new perspectives on both work and personal life. I made quite a few changes as a result of reading them.

Mompreneurs ME: What advice would you give a Mompreneur who was just starting out?

Karin: Surround yourself with people that are on the same journey as you and prepare for some friends not being fans of your newfound passion for work and children. Change is inevitable and a lot of people may not like it that you don’t have time for them but if they don’t have your drive they will never understand anyways so no need to waste your energy. I also believe it is important as a Mompreneur to know that you and only you can decide the right balance between work and your children. Nobody else have the full picture so you need to trust your instinct on when to go full speed vs hold back a bit on work in favor of your children and vice versa.

Mompreneurs ME: Your favorite quote is…

Karin: “We rise by lifting others” by Robert G Ingersoll

 

Nathalie Haddad

We had the pleasure of sitting down with the inspirational Mompreneur behind one of Dubai’s business stars, Right Bite and Nathalie’s Coffee & Kitchen, Nathalie Haddad Attiyah.

Mompreneurs ME: Tell us about your company…

Nathalie: Right Bite started in 2004 and was the pioneer in the nutrition & personalized meal plans specializing in healthy meals prepared fresh daily based on individual requirements and goals. Since then we have grown steadily throughout the years expanding in our area of expertise which is the healthy catering space adding to our portfolio healthy corporate catering, on demand (Right Bite express) and Right Bite kiosks and pop ups in different offices and business towers.
In addition we went into retail with Nathalie’s Coffee & Kitchen; a cozy eatery focusing on healthy wholesome fresh ingredients and gourmet food.

Mompreneurs ME: How did the idea of starting it come about and who inspired you?

Nathalie: I am a dietitian by education and career and was always passionate about helping individuals take care of their health. Nutrition is an integral part of our day to day lives and plays a large role in preventing many of the diseases we are faced with today and ensuring that you are at your healthiest.

I was counseling individuals on Nutrition and helping them achieve their health goals when I started Right Bite. It was as an added service to help individuals achieve their goals hassle free. Right Bite also educates individuals on portion size, variety and what constitutes a healthy diet; especially in todays world where many are confused with all the information available in the media.

Mompreneurs ME: What is the best part of what you do and the toughest?

Nathalie: The best part is making a difference in our clients lives and the positive impact that we have on their overall health and wellbeing. Right Bite has become a household name and that is the biggest reward for me and my team.

The toughest part is the ongoing challenges that you have to overcome on a daily basis to ensure that you are always working towards improving yourself, your team and the service you provide.

Mompreneurs ME: How many kids do you have and how old are they?

Nathalie: I have 2 girls; a 4 year old and a 1 year old and a little boy on the way.

Mompreneurs ME: How do you juggle work and life balance

Nathalie: As the demands of the kids and work both seem to be increasing at the same time these days this gets to be a bit tough at times… more in terms of being tired at the end of the day more than anything else.  I make sure I schedule everything – both the kids activities and work requirements and am lucky to have a great support system around me from family to close friends.

Mompreneurs ME: What’s a book you always recommend and why?

Nathalie: “Lean in” is a great book that depicts many of the real life issues we face as working women that have to juggle between work and family and provides inspiration to all mompreneurs.

Mompreneurs ME: What advice would you give a Mompreneur who was just starting out?

Nathalie: Focus on the quality and not just the quantity of time that you spend with your kids or at work.
Make sure you love what you do and the rest will come into place.

Mompreneurs ME: Your favorite quote is…

Nathalie: The most beautiful things in world cannot be seen or touched; they are felt with the heart – the little prince

 

Another Successful Pitch Finale

We are really happy to announce that the 7th edition of Mompreneur Rising Pitch Finale was a great success. It was held on 17th of June, we had 11 amazing women entrepreneurs who have been working on their ideas for two months and finally pitched in front of judges on Saturday. We had variety of different concepts from Interior Designing to Oil and Gas related workshop ideas.

You can find all the company profiles here.

 

 

 

Finally, the judges came up with 3 winners:

1- Mirhan Mandour – Sales Arm

2- Julia Al-Jenabi – Elimin8

3- Eva Mezher – WE Organic

 

 

 

Here are a few highlights and acknowledgements:

1- A very big thank you to our distinguished judges who always support this initiative. The judges’ feedback and comments are very valuable to our entrepreneurs as they come from places of experience and words of wisdom.

You can learn more about them here.

2- Thank you to the team behind the beautiful place that we hosted the event, In5.

3- We would like to thank our partners who supported this event and sponsored the prizes:

4- We really appreciate our Photography and Videography partner, the Studio. They have always done an amazing job for our events.

 

 

Check out some other stories:

Mrs. “mrUsta”

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