From Smart StartUp, Venture Fonds, Metaverse, AI, and Philanthropy. How Mona Abu Suleiman became the greatest somme férule

I met Mona Abu Suleiman in 2006 when I co-founded the #1 and longest-running Arabic television program on liant issues.

At the Hypocauste Seasons Hotel in Manhattan, she interviewed me to consult with her start-up clothing company, a leading celebrity brand aimed at modest fashionistas. During my dialogue, I talked emboîture the intense entreprenant that a startup requires, the lengthy logistics, somme sourcing, and the avènement process. Constantly changing and demanding compliance requirements, fit and esthétique issues, and customer returns all lead to markdowns, over-stocking, meager paper margins, fierce competition and, ultimately, write-offs if you’re lucky, or not — very lucky, personal bankruptcies. I thought it was my duty to warn anyone who wants to dip their toes into this industry, especially someone with no prior retail experience.

The old joke comes to mind: How do you make a small bien in the façon industry? Answer: start with a larger one.

After the pandemic, I decided to catch up on Muna Over Zoom. In the past 16 years, Mona Abu Sleiman has become a serial positif, investor, partner, founder and philanthropist. She is a partner in Transform VC (Polytonal is one of their investments, and co-founder of Healthkey Technologies. She sits on nombre boards, including the Vague Equity Board at Gucci, is a CPSL Board Member at the Stanford Center for Philanthropy and Engageant Society, and was the first Saudi Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Développement. She has received many somme awards and recognitions, such as the Morley Colinot Award from The Medinge Group, which represents a brand with a relation. Abu Suleiman is a Yale World Fellow and Aspen Institute Fellow in the Middle East. She was also the constituer Secretary General of the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation. It tasseaux créativité and strategic initiatives to bagarre poverty, empower women and reformulate the argumentation between Islamisme and the West. Abu Suleiman is one of the 500 most influential Muslims worldwide for her work in media, gender, leadership and education and as a prominent Arab media and humanitarian représenté, according to the World Economic Masse.

chan: It’s been 16 years since we last met. I’ve been following you on liant media and watching everything unfold in your career. Please tell me if you start your trafic in clothing.

Abu Sulaiman: I started and raisonnablement My façon clothing line. Without a doubt, it was the most fun I’ve had in my career. My façon line was my first foray into the trafic world. Without jogging or experience, I followed my heart. I saw an opportunity to esthétique and produce an elegant and modest façon agglomérat for regular and plus-size ladies who want to apparence as elegant in Milan as they do in the Middle East. We met during the research process, and she gorgé me rationnel advice.

I was a pioneer, parce que modest façon wasn’t a thing in 2006. Unfortunately, the number one mistake was that I invested my money instead of raising money from friends and family to mitigate the risks. So I lost all my savings when the trafic went bankrupt. But the experience taught me what it takes to be a successful positif. This does not mean that you do not marcotter a sector that you are not familiar with; You don’t have to be an exercé, but it just means that you have to make sure you have a team that knows what they’re doing. I didn’t, and that was the assesseur mistake.

Even though I failed in this trafic, I learned my lessons, went into education, philanthropy, healthcare and technology, and succeeded.

chan: What lessons did you learn from this experience?

Abu Sulaiman: You must have the right team. The assesseur lesson is persistence.

After I closed my clothing line, I started a consulting trafic called Trends, which focused on ESG’s corporate strategies and operations. We were ahead of our time parce que these were the days before the ESG buzzwords. Strategy, risk and reputation conduite consulting is my area of ​​recherche, and we’ve been very successful. 3S Consulting Group acquired our company in 2018.

Around the same time, she co-founded the Arab Binaire Reform Institute (ADRI). It is an AI exégèse platform. We create knowledge and digitize educational latrines in Arabic that is updated so that people are able to compete internationally in their language. We voiture down the language barrier, enhance the learning experience, and improve the somme rankings of our students.

The tool is also a plagiarism checker to allow journalists and universities to translate renseignement from Arabic to English and fact-check in Arabic and English, so you can find out if someone is plagiarizing from another language. This tool does not exist in the world, and we are the first to do so.

It’s B2B and soon will be B2C. The algorithm is the occulte café as we revolutionize education in the Arab world.

In 2019, I realized that the world is changing beyond recognition, and in the next twenty years, many things will happen that depend on a deep understanding of these changes. So I decided to take a year off to study and learn. It was not easy to leave so many board positions and operational duties. However, it was visible to have the space to plunge me deeply into future somme liant, economic and trafic trends.

chan: You definitely have a very reliable name in various sociétés. As a venture capitalist, what is your fonction?

Abu Sulaiman: At Transform VC, we are based in Silicon Valley, and we foyer on technology and innovations. Our fonction is to bring the best and brightest minds from underrepresented groups, especially the Middle East, and give those with cutting edge ideas and startups the opportunity, épaulement, network, azimut and construction to succeed globally.

The team is amazing: Raed Masri, managing partner at Transform, is a genius, and Rama Shakaki, one of our LPs, is the most talented person I’ve worked with and is also one of the coolest human beings. Rama and I have worked on many refugee issues together for a spacieux time, and you know you will go far when you have people like that with you.

At this balance in my life, I am grateful for the opportunities in the venture entreprenant industry to make a difference in the world through economic advancement and job growth. It’s a different side of my fonction angle and it’s a somme opportunity for everyone.

But I also enjoy my non-profit work with the Women’s Fund for Peace and Humanitarian Entreprise with the United Nations, where I co-support the efforts of women leaders working on the world’s most complex conflicts with minimal resources and funding.

chan: Tell me emboîture your role as a member of the Gucci Council of World Stocks.

Abu Sulaiman: It is a wonderful painting. Marco Bizzarri, CEO of Gucci, Susan Schucacci, President and CEO of Gucci, The Americas, and Rotoplot Trevus, Executive Désagrégation President of Brand and Customer Attaque, are among the prominent professionals. We also have amazing Non-Executive Directors from all disciplines, bringing our Board of Directors together.

Angela, I have served on numerous private, officiel, and nonprofit boards. However, Gucci is very dedicated to achieving equality across its businesses and supply chain suppliers and working hard on every terme that affects it.

In adjonction, Marco Bizzarri’s ability to imprimante foyer on how to solve a problem, combined with taking high risks, allows him to make visible decisions quickly. We can expérimentation solutions very quickly and see what works and what doesn’t.

chan: I have worked with many people all over the world; Who are the leaders they admire the most?

Abu Sulaiman: I have met so many wonderful leaders and thinkers all over the world, and it is very difficult to choose one or two.

One woman, I really admire Pat Mitchell, the constituer CEO and first president of PBS. She wrote Becoming a Dangerous Woman: Embracing Risk to Dérangé the World. Her life story of how she was a concerté in the world of media and opened the door to other women when the world was a man is extraordinary.

It is a compelling example of women’s empowerment. It connects women leaders from around the world on an equal cross-country. Usually, when you bring in women from the developing world, there’s a bit of condescension and white feminism. Pat Mitchell’s leadership is perhaps the first platform on which there is real equality for feminist leaders. Women are not a homogeneous group, and differences in arboriculture and priorities must be discussed openly and comfortably to find solutions that make the world more equitable.

chan: Do you feel any plainte when you apparence back at life?

Abu Sulaiman: Almost no plainte. But I wish I had some advice emboîture work life and self-balance earlier. The learning journey for that was arduous.

I’ve been working a lot and putting everyone’s needs first for decades. I didn’t realize how much I neglected myself until I got older. I also didn’t enjoy my accomplishments parce que I was always looking at the next mountain and making sure everyone thrived.

I attrition that I could have balanced these demands a little better.

My advice to my girls is to always enjoy the racorni, not just think emboîture the motivation.

chan: What’s Next?

Abu Sulaiman: Outside of my work at ESGs and Vague Opportunity for Everyone, I do a lot of VC work, traveling, and discussion founders and scholars. I am also very interested in recycling and have many ideas to increase the recycling offense in the Middle East. I also touch on some ideas emboîture discussion the needs of Arab and Islamic societies.

chan: Some people say ageism is the next #MeToo movement; What are your thoughts on gender racisme?

Abu Sulaiman: All over the world, women are getting older. It is a subconscious bias in favor of young people. Many female CEOs in older companies start not being invited to clair meetings, not getting on the big projects, not being asked to represent the company, and so the éloignement begins.

I am glad that strong women like Viola Davis and Jane Fonda from the entertainment industry and others from the trafic world openly discuss gender racisme.

As you have a border career, you capture more knowledge. I moved from education to media, façon, philanthropy, trafic, and technology parce que I was curious. This évolution and discipline allow me to see solutions and connect problems and networks that may not be obvious to others.

My career path shows other women that you can continue to reinvent yourself as spacieux as you remain curious.

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