The Brilliant Lebanese Awards, an annual award organized by BLC BANK, is designed to acknowledge and honor entrepreneurs who have achieved excellence and demonstrated personal commitment to their business and community. These awards are part of the Bank’s promise to provide SMEs and women entrepreneurs with consultancy, learning and development opportunities, access to markets and nationwide exposure, in addition to financing.
Who are the nominees for Woman Entrepreneur Of the Year 2016
To begin with, each nominee in this category is a winner.
Each has succeeded and will continue to succeed in their respective fields and are ALL inspirational!
So who are they?
Ecole Maternelle Bebes Calins – Mrs. Rita ABBOUD
In 1990, at the age of 19, as a pregnant psychology student, Rita Abboud pursued her dream.
It all started in a small apartment where she envisioned starting her successful nursery that she advertised for by hanging brochures.
At the age of 25, she took a loan and moved her project to a small villa while pursuing various trainings in parallel.
In 1997, the mother of two graduated with a Bachelor in Psychology.
Meanwhile, she was focused on expanding her nursery and staff on one side, and assuring the best trainings and education on another.
In 2002, she finally became the owner of a preschool licensed by the Ministry of Education. After years of hard work, the preschool gained reputation and rented a piece of land from the church and started the construction of her current preschool; a project that required immense dedication and hard work.
On another note, she is a member of both the Ministry of Health and of Public Relations, and one of the founders and the previous Vice President of the Lebanese Syndicate of preschools and nurseries. In 2016, she obtained her second Masters degree in Educational Psychology.
Claire Damaa Group – Ms. Claire DAMAA
CLAIRE DAMAA group is a high-end lingerie company founded by Lebanese fashion journalist Claire Damaa while based in Paris.
After graduating from Beirut University College with a specialization in journalism, play production & communication art, Claire Damaa studied fashion design in Rome.
She started her fashion business life by creating a luxury life style fashion program on NEWTV channel that lasted 13 years and then moved to FASHION TV ARABIA.
During the years spent on TV she interviewed top world designers and art and decoration experts giving her a deep understanding of the fashion business.
This led her to invest in her name and reputation and create a lingerie line called CLAIRE D launched in Paris in the presence of VIP journalists and French personalities with Harrods as her first client.
To celebrate the 5th anniversary of Claire D, she re-launched the company as Claire Damaa Group in 4 specialized lines: Couture-Bridal-Divorce-Miss D. The Divorce line created a big buzz among all the international buyers and press since it is designed with a bold message to empower women against their suffering after a divorce.
Claire’s main objective is to support local industry with her lines that are fully made in Lebanon, and to prove to all that “Made in Lebanon” can go global. She hopes for Claire Damaa Group to be an international group with Lebanese origins and to keep on going even in her absence.
Heart to Heart – Mrs. Reem ALBANA
Cofounders Hanan and Dalal Tabbara created the Heart to Heart brand out of their passion for creating beautiful handmade arrangements for wedding and new born receptions
As daughter of one of the founders, she has been in the business since its inception. She has a hands-on approach, loves meeting clients, making them feel as part of the wider Heart to Heart family. Individual personal customer service has been a key driver of the success of Heart To Heart.
She is also in charge of overseeing product assembly and ordering placements as well as assisting in developing themes for each season.
Le Potager – Mrs. Zeina KHOURY DAOUD
Le Potager Bio is the evolution of Le Potager SARL which is a family business founded in 1994 by the twin sisters Zeina and Myrna Khoury. The goal of Le Potager Bio is to introduce consumers to a range of 100% organic herbs, fruits and vegetables. Le Potager Bio uses organic farming and is free of pesticides, herbicides,fertilizers and additives.
It all started one afternoon in July 2009 when Zeina Khoury Daoud and her husband Rudy wanted to share a melon as a snack with their 3 kids and found that the melon tasted of some bleach product!
Being passionate of healthy food and a great cook herself, Zeina decided to grow their own vegetables and fruits to provide her family and friends with healthy and nutritious intake that is free of chemicals and toxins.
In 2010, Le Potager Bio was founded. Zeina uses a 100% organic farming in the Bekaa, free of synthetic pesticides and certified by CCPB (Inspection and certification body). Zeina insisted on being personally in charge. Every morning at 5:30 am she personally prepares Le Potager Bio boxes that would be delivered to the clients at their doorsteps.
The Bio Boxes contain a variety of fruits and vegetables according to the harvest and prepared with extreme care and love by Zeina. In 2015 Zeina implemented the franchise of the French organic shop “La Vie Claire” in Lebanon and opened 2 boutiques in Ashrafieh and Hazmieh. Zeina is currently the General Manager of both Le Potager Bio and La Vie Claire.
Mes Petites Ballerines – Mrs. Pamela JABBOUR
Mes Petites Ballerines was founded in 2014 as a footwear company that focuses on making comfortable and stylish shoes for girls starting the age of 1.
At the age of 15 driven by her passion for kids, Pamela started working in fields engaging children’s activities. Upon graduation, Pamela’s passion for kids prompted her to open a retail fashion shop for pregnant women and toddlers. This venture enabled Pamela to develop her knowledge and a better understanding of the retail fashion market dynamics and gaps.
Subsequently, mixing passion with expertise she launched her current business: Mes Petites Ballerines (MPB).
Pamela started MPB from scratch. Her initial line of ballerinas was meant to personally design then outsource the production and sell at local product fairs. However following the success, her entrepreneurial drive encouraged her to take out a loan, acquiring the manufacturing equipment and a talented team needed to produce her own line of quality shoes, fashion and accessories.
“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in life” became Pamela’s motto.
She believes a woman can do it all: raise a family and have her own business, when there is passion involved, everything is possible. Her vision is to expand to international markets which she is confident to achieve through her passion and devotion.
MSCA SAL – Mrs. Christelle Yared
MSCA is a leader in the national and regional VIP armored vehicle industry. It is founded with the objective of producing advanced and luxurious Armored Vehicles while increasing personal security, preserving high quality standards, and a Fortress On Wheels.
Christelle was acquiring knowledge and expertise in the armored vehicles
industry throughout researches, field tests, connections and attendance to major Security and Defense Exhibitions when she saw an opportunity for a new market for armored vehicles while finishing her Master’s Degree in Business and Management – Distribution from Saint Joseph University in Beirut and managing the Leasing Department of Budget Car Rental.
She founded MSCA in 2009 and helped develop it into a well-respected company within its niche market while directing all facets of the business, including Sales, Marketing, Manufacturing, R&D, Human Resources and Operations and helped generating successful business opportunities and collaborations with top notch professional suppliers and clientele.
She managed to prove herself despite her young age, as a woman in a male dominated business environment and gained her clients trust.
She succeeded to win big governmental contract over fierce competition in 2 years from launching while maintaining high profitability levels and gained worldwide exposure resulting in new business ventures in East & North Africa.
She managed to create and develop new unfamiliar products for the market while contributing to the needs of her country.
ARE YOU INSPIRED? All these amazing women have proven that an empowered and self-motivated woman can follow her dream and SUCCEED!
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO NOW:
Vote for one of these amazing women for the PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD on the below link:
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.
BELIEVE IN YOUR DREAMS.
AND FOLLOW THEM.
Who knows YOU might be nominated for WOMEN ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR!
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