“You’re not investing in my husband, you’re investing in me” Bulkwhiz Founder, Amira Rashad, on navigating the entrepreneurial landscape as a woman.
The Lighthouse Conversations
Guest Amira Rashad Co-founder, BulkWhiz www.linkedin.com Hashem is joined by fellow hybrid Egyptian/Arab/American, Amira Rashad, founder of Dubai’s first bulk online shopping portal, Bulkwhiz. As the founder of a retail startup that implements AI and bespoke customer service, Amira shares her philosophy behind Bulkwhiz, why even affluent customers like a good deal, and how COVID-19 set the stage for new challenges and adaptations. With not only their alma mater–Harvard Business School–in common, Amira and Hashem also share the experience of leaving the corporate world behind to become bona fide entrepreneurs. Citing a lack of collective experience in the regional women’s startup landscape, Amira highlights how she managed to forge ahead as a female leader. She also shares her experience mentoring young female founders, and how to build a successful support network. We’d love to hear from you. You can leave us a review in your podcast app, on IMDb or drop us a line on Instagram
From Corporate Veteran to Entrepreneur - Amira Rashad
When Women Win
A working mum, Amira felt like there were not enough hours in the day - and grocery shopping was the last thing she wanted to do in her precious time. So she built an online platform to order groceries in bulk. Prior to starting BulkWhiz, Amira had 25 years’ experience in leadership, strategy, operations and marketing across a variety of sectors - having worked at Yahoo, Pepsico and Booz Allen. Most recently she was the Head of Brand for Facebook Middle East & North Africa. Amira is a Harvard Business School Graduate and sits on the board of Tech Wadi in Silicon Valley. We discussed Amira’s diverse experiences in the corporate world and how they prepared her for entrepreneurship. She busted a myth about the average age of entrepreneurs! We talked about why Amira decided to leave a cool, stable corporate job to create BulkWhiz and the hurdles she faced in doing it. We got her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, and an explanation of “the moment of truth” for your product. We discussed various challenges women face in the workplace and the expectations placed on all of us. Finally, we touched on Amira’s creative writing and what makes her happy. My favourite quote was when Amira shared a famous saying in the advertising world. “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half”. The quote is attributed to John Wanamaker, considered by many to be the father of modern advertising. Amira's book recommendation was The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, something for me to add to my fiction to-read list. You can find Amira on her Instagram page and find BulkWhiz here. For those of you interested in learning more about the entrepreneurial journey, this is the Harvard Business School Case Study on BulkWhiz. While you're here, remember to leave us a rating with a simple tap on the stars, and subscribe to the podcast.