Nadine Halabi, Business Development Manager at Dubai Business Women Council tells Intelligent SME about DBWC, a diverse networking platform that connects and trains budding women entrepreneurs through seminars and workshops. It opens doors for new business opportunities.
Q: From classroom to an office manager, how has your journey been so far?
My career has undergone a lot of changes and I have witnessed a lot of challenges and hurdles. I never saw myself confined within the parameters of a classroom or an office because I always believed I could do more. My role at the DBWC still encompasses education, as the workshops I arrange for our members are all about adding value, educating them and helping them make a difference. It also requires some precise office and team management skills which I was lucky to develop over the years through the mentorship of some of the greatest people that I have had the privilege to work with, and that includes Dr Raja Al Gurg at the top of the list.
Q: What is Dubai Business Women Council about and how does it empower women entrepreneurs?
Since its establishment in 2002 under the Presidency and direction of HE Dr. Raja Easa Saleh Al Gurg, the Council opened its doors for membership to local and expatriate business women, to business owners and executives across the UAE and the region. Its objective is to provide members with the right opportunities to develop and enhance their enterprises by granting them access to a range of B2B tools and useful databases.
DBWC hosts its monthly Network Majlis, which offers members a business related workshop or training session that helps them learn a new skill or build on a certain area of expertise. We have covered many topics and have done some quite interesting workshops and training sessions throughout these Majlises over the years. All of these are conducted by professional and successful speakers from reputable organizations, both locally and internationally.
Q: Is it open to all or only to the Emirati women?
It is open to Emirati and Expatriate women.
Q: What type of events and workshops are organised by DBWC?
Our workshops or training sessions are business oriented. We are very selective with the topics of these sessions because it is our priority to ensure that the members learn new skills or master existing ones that can help them become better business women or perhaps ignite their desire of plunging into entrepreneurship. So far we have covered topics such as Time Management, Emotional Intelligence, Soft Skills, Mental Toughness, Social Media Workshops and many more. A list of our previous sessions as well as our upcoming events can be seen at http://www.dbwc.ae/event/event_display
Q: What are the vision and the objectives of DBWC?
The Council’s objectives are:
To provide members with extensive and diverse networking platforms by exposing them to business related events and conferences that are taking place in Dubai, throughout the UAE and across the region.
To empower members through our extensive monthly training sessions, seminars and workshops which take place at no cost for registered DBWC Members.
To connect members with each other members they are here in Dubai or in other parts of the world and pave the way for possible business opportunities and partnerships.
Q: What role do you play at DBWC and how long you have been associated with it?
I am the Business Development Manager of the Dubai Business Women Council. I joined in August 2011 and have been managing the overall operations of the council, coordinating with high profile board members, its stakeholders and members in line with the values, vision and mission as set out by its President Dr. Raja Al Gurg.
Q: With your expertise in human resources, administration, project management, public relations, event management and Business CRM, what is your next goal?
My goal is to develop the DBWC further and enable it to reach the heights. As the official organization that represents the business women community of Dubai, there is so much potential to develop the council and take it to a global level. This is already happening thanks to the tremendous support and dedication of its President, Dr. Al Gurg and Board Members.
Q: What message would you would like to convey to budding women entrepreneurs from DBWC?
Over the years, we have found that women in Dubai want to venture into starting up their own businesses but several factors keep them from doing so. These include lack of confidence, insufficient knowledge about the fundamentals of starting up a business and access to capital.
What would help encourage women to embark on an entrepreneurial journey and set up their own business is to have a platform that can provide them with the knowledge, the network and in some cases, the funding to do so. DBWC is a platform that can help these business women develop their skills, meet like-minded business women and develop solid partnerships. It is a non-profit organization that offers much value to its members and I would encourage every working woman who wishes to enhance and develop her skills to become a part of its network.
Q: How are SMEs enabled and empowered through DBWC?
DBWC advocates and nurtures local women and young entrepreneurs new to the world of business, or who are putting their first foot forward in today’s exciting economy. We do this by identifying key issues, providing information, pooling resources, encouraging leadership and advocating responsible action to address the well-being of women as entrepreneurs and in the workforce. We further strengthen the bond amongst business and professional women in Dubai as we are building a superior networking platform for women to expand and improve opportunities for growth through the exchange of knowledge and expertise.