After 4 years of entrepreneurship, I have reached a level where some answers became hard to answer: how can I develop my business? How can I respect myself and my limit as a woman to grow a business at a human scale? How can I develop my partnership network? And a big question, how do other female entrepreneurs grow their businesses?
Starting from those questions, I found the Ouissal program who offers a mentorship program with other female entrepreneurs, I applied, was selected and on the first day of the gathering week, I met my mentor Korinna Steffen. Korinna was really selected for me and for my needs, she was smart, kind, organized, she ran a business which is very similar to mine and we had a great connection very quickly.
We talked about everything; she wanted to learn about my life, in order to better help me to find answers and to coach me.
In a few days, during our meeting in Tunisia, we already framed my challenge and sketched an action plan. Korinna kept pinging me every 6 to 8 weeks to do the follow-up with my advancements, she's very supportive, and she takes her role as a mentor very seriously and gives it all the attention that it deserves. Today, I want to highlight that Korinna is not just a mentor, she's a very good friend, I share a lot with her. We learn from each other and every meeting is a happy moment for me. I feel safe and supported, and this is a great feeling for the woman entrepreneur that I am.
I'm grateful to Ouissal and Korinna for such a great experience of mentorship. For me, this is only the beginning of a long-lasting friendship.
I had the pleasure to meet Clara Gruitrooy at the Working Moms network in Hamburg. She gave us insights about the Ouissal program and EMA. A euro-Mediterranean-Arabic mentoring program with female entrepreneurs sounded so attractive to me that it took me a few minutes to decide to apply for it. Chosen for Tunis, I was quite excited to get the chance to meet so many interesting women from Tunisia as well as from Germany. One day after arrival, I have met my mentee, Ines. The combination of mentors and mentees were chosen very thoughtfully and so my mentee Ines has been a perfect match businesswise as well as personally. Our businesses are very similar and exchanging ideas is easy. She taught me about the Tunisian culture, invited me to her home, and showed me parts of her city. The Ouissal program provided additional workshops and insights into the city. Every second in Tunis was worth it and the Ouissal team was extremely supportive.
The whole relationship with Ines was on a level playing field which has made it very valuable for both of us. We have continued our exchange via regular video calls to keep us updated with the progress. The Covid-19 pandemic was like a burning glass for some topics and Ines made big decisions about her business. We were in contact to discuss the changes and to reflect on it. Reflection with Ines is always very inspiring and makes me reflect on my own business too. With Ines it’s always a great pleasure to develop new ideas, discuss cultural peculiarities, and to evolve our mentorship which has become so much more: an Arabic-European friendship.