Show Image
Hakawati | حكواتي
Entrepreneurship
2022 Hakawati Inc.

A show that explores the world of founders; their disappointments, their wins, their personal lives, and how they deal with adversity. Host Yasmeen Turayhi interviews startup founders and entrepreneurs in emerging markets in 1:1 conversations where the audience will learn about some of the biggest lessons these founders learned on their journey from the personal to the professional and share how they keep themselves motivated. The Middle East was built on the foundation of commerce and sales and the spirit of entrepreneurship pulsates through the veins of the region. These founders have a unique lens about what it takes to build and grow a company in the Middle East and North Africa. Oftentimes, these founders have found ways to deliver on the promise of their product within an early or non-existent ecosystem. In some cases, they had to build both the product and the ecosystem. Yasmeen Turayhi is a product marketing expert in Silicon Valley and Board member of TechWadi, the leading non-profit organization building bridges between Silicon Valley and the Middle East and North Africa region.

A show that explores the world of founders; their disappointments, their wins, their personal lives, and how they deal with adversity. Host Yasmeen Turayhi interviews startup founders and entrepreneurs in emerging markets in 1:1 conversations where the audience will learn about some of the biggest lessons these founders learned on their journey from the personal to the professional and share how they keep themselves motivated. The Middle East was built on the foundation of commerce and sales and the spirit of entrepreneurship pulsates through the veins of the region. These founders have a unique lens about what it takes to build and grow a company in the Middle East and North Africa. Oftentimes, these founders have found ways to deliver on the promise of their product within an early or non-existent ecosystem. In some cases, they had to build both the product and the ecosystem. Yasmeen Turayhi is a product marketing expert in Silicon Valley and Board member of TechWadi, the leading non-profit organization building bridges between Silicon Valley and the Middle East and North Africa region.

Comments
OmerS
Aug 23, 2022
امرأة قوية وشجاعة لها التحية

26 Episodes

Mar 7, 2022

The future of home goods and technology with Homzmart  

Today’s episode is with Mahmoud Ibrahim, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Homzmart, the Middle East’s leading furniture & home goods marketplace platform, Mahmoud has over 13 years’ extensive experience in Tech startups.

With a background in building digital companies in emerging regions; Mahmoud started with Rocket Internet’s Jumia serving as VP Operations. Mahmoud then co-founded Daraz, the leading ecommerce platform in southeast Asia, where his role was Group Chief Operating Officer, before the company was acquired by Alibaba.

Mahmoud founded Homzmart spotting a need in the market & providing a solution for it, by making the discovery, and purchasing of furniture easier as the platform helps customers choose from thousands of SKUs and brands.

We talk about the following and so much more:
✅ Why Mahmoud wanted to work on solving this problem
✅ Why customer service is such an important part of their brand
✅ What their competitive advantage is
✅ How their business managed during the pandemic
✅ How he deals with challenges

Stay tuned for upcoming episodes with startup founders in the Middle East and North Africa!

Please tag us and tell us what you learned. We’d greatly appreciate a review if you are enjoying these conversations.

Feb 28, 2022

Powering Gaza with solar-panels with Majd Mashharawi 

Today’s episode is with Majd Mashharawi, a resident of war-torn Gaza, who observed the acute need for access to construction material in order to rebuild damaged buildings and infrastructure.

She strove to meet this need by founding GreenCake in 2015, a company that creates environmentally friendly bricks from ash and rubble. GreenCake was a runner-up in the annual MIT Pan Arab competition.

In the summer of 2017 she developed SunBox, an affordable solar system that produces energy to alleviate the effects of the energy crisis in Gaza, where access to electricity has been severely restricted, sometimes to less than three hours a day. With SunBox, she has been able to provide electricity to hundreds of people.

In 2018 she was selected as one of the most creative people in business by Fast Company and SunBox won the MIT Pan Arab competition, competing against 6000 entries. Her TED Talk, How I’m making bricks out of ashes and rubble in Gaza, has received nearly 1.3 Million views so far. Last September Ms. Mashharawi and Sunbox company was awarded the Muhammed Ali Humanitarian Award in Louisville Kentucky by the Muhammad Ali Center.

You can find her on FB, Instagram, Linkedin.

We talk about the following and so much more:
✅ Why she decided to focus on electricity in Gaza as an industry
✅ Why and how she created Sunbox
✅ Some of the challenges she faced in building the product and the company
✅ How being a new mom has transformed the way she sees the world

Stay tuned for upcoming episodes with startup founders in the Middle East and North Africa!

Please tag us and tell us what you learned. We’d greatly appreciate a review if you are enjoying these conversations.

Feb 21, 2022

Empowering global small business with crypto-powered payments 

Today’s episode is with Amr Shady, who has two decades’ experience in building and scaling startups globally. He co-founded Tribal, a Silicon Valley-based crypto-powered payments and financing platform that helps emerging-market SMBs grow and compete in a global economy.

The company started as a spin-off from his NYU research on using AI to predict startup success. Tribal raised $163 million in total funding from SoftBank Latin America Fund, QED Investors, BECO Capital, Stellar Development Foundation, Digital Currency Group, and Coinbase Ventures.

Amr started his first company at 22, bootstrapping it to a multimillion dollar business. TA Telecom is a payments company that processes 15 billion transactions yearly. Named “local hero” by the Financial Times, the company also ranked on Deloitte’s fastest growing tech companies in EMEA.

Amr’s mentors and especially his mom, were an instrumental force in allowing him to stay the course on the road towards building Tribal.

We talk about the following and so much more:

✅ Why Amr started Tribal Credit and why it’s so important to small businesses
✅ How his product changed from version 1 to the latest version
✅ Which people and mentors in his life helped him develop his company
✅ Some of the books that he recommends for anyone starting a business

Stay tuned for upcoming episodes with startup founders in the Middle East and North Africa!

Please tag us and tell us what you learned. We’d greatly appreciate a review if you are enjoying these conversations.

Jan 31, 2022

Personal finance investing in the Middle East with Sarwa founder Nadine Mezher  

Today’s episode on Startup Confessionals is with Nadine Mezher, the founder of Sarwa.

Sarwa is the first and fastest-growing digital investment platform and personal finance app for young professionals in the Middle East, with more than 50,000 registered users. The company helps its clients build their wealth by leveraging data-driven strategy and technology to bring down costs.

Since launching in February 2018, Sarwa has revolutionized how young professionals grow their wealth by bringing smart, simple, affordable digital investing to the region.

Through its mobile app, Sarwa aims to deliver more innovative personal finance products, such as Sarwa Invest, Sarwa Crypto and Sarwa Trade.


The firm was founded in 2017 by a team of financial, technology, and management experts, and is backed by top regional and international stakeholders. Sarwa received a total of $25 Million in funding to date.

We talk about the following and so much more:
✅ Why she decided to build Sarwa, and what the alternative investing options are
✅ Sarwa Invest, Sarwa Crypto and Sarwa Trade, and how many users have more than one product
✅ How she’s handled adversity and how her relationships really helped her through her journey
✅ Her 25 million funding round, and how her priority to Sarwas mission has not changed

Stay tuned for upcoming episodes with startup founders in the Middle East and North Africa!

Please tag us and tell us what you learned. We’d greatly appreciate a review if you are enjoying these conversations.

Jan 24, 2022

How to build a world-class wellness and health company with Vivoo founder Miray Tayfun 

Today’s episode is with Miray Tayfun the co-founder and the CEO of Vivoo, an application based on urine data that delivers personal advice to the individual for a healthier lifestyle.

Miray graduated from Stanford postgraduate programs specializing in Go-to-Market Strategies as well as Diet and Gene Expression. Miray has previously founded companies in medical diagnostics, smart homes and smart co-living spaces.

Vivoo is the first at-home wellness tracker that uses urine to provide personalized insights and recommendations unique to the user's body while helping them track their hydration, pH, ketones, kidney & liver functions and so much more!

It takes just 2 minutes to take a test and get your results instantly in your home, through your mobile app.

We talk about the following and so much more:

✅ Vivoo’s value proposition and why she started the company
✅ Her investment journey with Tim Draper and other well-known investors in Silicon Valley
✅ Vivoo’s competitive advantage
✅ How the company changed from the version 1 to where it is today
✅ Her favorite book recommendations

Stay tuned for upcoming episodes with startup founders in the Middle East and North Africa!

Please tag us and tell us what you learned. We’d greatly appreciate a review if you are enjoying these conversations.

Dec 20, 2021

An accelerator for female led startups leading the world of sustainability and impact 

Today’s episode is with Katie Wachsberger, a co-founder of DANA, an Abu Dhabi based accelerator and funding platform for women-led startups in desert tech, including the sectors of agritech, foodtech, water solutions, renewable energy, circular economy, and waste management.

DANA offers startups a tailor made program, including hands-on mentorship, business model construction, proof of concept and feasibility testing at DANA beta sites, corporate design partnerships, AI implementation with Microsoft, go-to-market in MENA and India, and seed funding.

She is passionate about the incredible technology already embedded in the way our natural environment functions, and believes in the endless capabilities of female founders.

We spoke about the following and so much more:
✅ How she and her co-founders started DANA, and why the accelerator is named DANA
✅ Some of the companies in DANA’s portfolio which include industries like desert tech, agritech, foodtech, water solutions, renewable energy, circular economy, and waste management.
✅ Why she and her co-founders believed in offering funding as well as mentorship and skills
✅ How she deals with adversity and keeps moving forward
✅ How the pandemic shaped their business

Stay tuned for upcoming episodes with startup founders in the Middle East and North Africa!

Please tag us and tell us what you learned. We’d greatly appreciate a review if you are enjoying these conversations.

Dec 13, 2021

Building an online classified company in Kuwait, with Tarek Sakr  

Today’s episode is with Tarek Sakr, a seasoned CEO and tech entrepreneur with a proven track record of innovation, disruption and changing the status quo across the region.

After a successful career in finance, Tarek followed his passion for tech and successfully founded and grew the top 2 online marketplaces in Kuwait, Q8Car and 4Sale.

4Sale is the leading online classifieds platform in Kuwait, where over a million monthly active users connect to buy and sell anything. 4Sale is available on the web, Google Play and App Store.

We talk about:

✅ How he started his business when the technology and startup ecosystem in the Middle East was almost non-existent
✅ Why he decided to build his first business in Kuwait
✅ What motivates him to continue even in the face of challenges and adversity
✅ Why he did not take funding, and instead choose to focus on building his product and offering
✅ How the pandemic impacted his business
✅ Why HR and Hiring is the most important focus point for him now

Stay tuned for upcoming episodes with startup founders in the Middle East and North Africa!

Please tag us and tell us what you learned. We’d greatly appreciate a review if you are enjoying these conversations.

Dec 6, 2021

Creating a global solution for deskless workers, with Rami Darwish of Arrow Labs  

Today’s episode is with Rami Darwish, the CEO and Founder of Arrow Labs. Rami is a technology industry veteran, who has 20 years experience in the sector. Before founding Arrow Labs in 2011, Rami held key technical and business roles in leading global technology corporations Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard and Daon.

Arrow Labs provides a solution to make deskless work simpler, better and more productive for frontline workers. Their  flagship SaaS solution – called MIMS - connects workers to the back office from the field and orchestrates daily workflows and tasks to be executed with simplicity.

Arrow Labs’ technology makes remote workers (and companies) more efficient - dispelling the notion that technology threatens non-office jobs.

We dive into the following and so much more:

✅Rami’s reason for creating Arrow Labs in 2011
✅How he navigated the pandemic with Arrow Labs
✅How he bootstrapped the company, and then went on to raise two rounds of funding
✅His focus on growing in a global market, beyond just EMEA
✅What he sacrificed to start the company, and how he deals with challenges
✅ A book that he recommends every founder reads

Stay tuned for upcoming episodes with startup founders in the Middle East and North Africa!

Nov 15, 2021

The future of finance for women in Pakistan with Oraan founder, Halima Iqbal  

Today’s episode is with Halima Iqbal, the CEO and founder at Oraan, a financial company that helps women access financial services.

A former investment banker and consultant with 8 years of experience, Halima moved back to Pakistan in 2017 after a decade in North America with a drive to make finance inclusive and simple for the underserved millions. She is the only female executive in the Pakistan Fintech Association.

Along with her finance background she is a certified chef and co-founded Mealsurfers (food-tech) which was acquired in 2016.

We dive into the following:

- Why she created Oraan after her initial inability to create a bank account in Pakistan
- Her flagship product, Committees and how it works
- What it is really like to be a founder, and how to deal with challenges
- How she navigated the fundraising journey and the advice she would tell new founders
- How her team navigated through the pandemic

Stay tuned for upcoming episodes with startup founders in the Middle East and North Africa!

Please tag us and tell us what you learned. We’d greatly appreciate a review if you are enjoying these conversations.

Nov 8, 2021

The future of edtech is infinite with Lamsa founder, Badr Ward  

Today’s episode is with the prolific Badr Ward, the instigator of the Edtech industry for Children across the Middle East and North Africa, and the founder of Lamsa.

Led by the latest in Early Childhood Development (ECD) research & Education Technology, Lamsa is the essential learning companion in every child's developmental years, laying the foundation for lifelong development and success, in the years that really matter.

On account of his vast and diverse knowledge, Ward was selected by the World Economic Forum as a member of the Global Future Council and serves as an Advisory Board Member at the Emirates College of Technology.

We talk about the following and so much more
✅ How his early years in the Montessori school system shaped his perspective on early education
✅ His decision to build Lamsa and his product development journey
✅ How he creates feedback loops with both customers: the parent and the child
✅ His top takeaways and advice on how he stays motivated and aligned - this is one you don’t want to miss!

Stay tuned for upcoming episodes with startup founders in the Middle East and North Africa!

Please tag us and tell us what you learned. We’d greatly appreciate a review if you are enjoying these conversations.

:: / ::
1.0x 1.5x 2.0x
Episode Image
18.232.56.9