Influential, charismatic and entrepreneurial, these are the women who are changing the face of the Middle East.
Heather Henyon – @BalCap
The founder and managing partner of micro-investment firm Balthazar Capital, Henyon recently founded the Women’s Angel Investment Network (WAIN), the first female angel investment group in the Middle East, supporting female entrepreneurs through a unique collaborative investment process.
She also sowed the seeds of Grameen-Jameel, a social business jointly owned by Grameen Foundation and Abdul Latif Jameel Group. Under her leadership, the entity created microfinance institutions in Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.
Mariam Barghoyan – @barghoyan
Finance graduate, Journalist, Philanthropist, Model, Beauty Queen and Entrepreneur. She is recognized for her community work teaching children from Syria to read and write Armenian; in addition, Mariam Barghoyan became Miss Global Armenia in 2016 and the title holder for the TV reality show Miss Power Woman Armenia in 2017.
The opportunities for small business and international trade have never been greater in Armenia and she wanted to take this opportunity to create a socially conscious business that brings the best raw products from surrounding countries to manufacture in Armenian her company strategy takes advantage of the investment and business environment of Armenia and uses such infrastructure to deliver quality end-products to international markets. Mariam sees an opportunity for her company in the meat market for the near future, her plans for a meat manufacturing venture is her current project to expand the company beyond reselling livestock, commodities and raw material.
Nadia Roumani – @NadiaRoumani
In Roumani’s world, actions seem to speak louder than words. Her record includes launching the Women Leaders Intercultural Forum, the Global Policy Innovations Program at the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, as well as the International Network of Foundations with the UN Alliance of Civilizations.
She not only worked with global institutions but also prioritized change at the grassroots level. In 2008, she co-launched the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California, which helps young Muslim non-profit executives and public officials realize their full potential to foster healthy and engaged communities.
Muna AbuSulayman – @MunaAbuSulayman
Influential and recognized worldwide, AbuSulayman has become a key voice of Arab women in the Middle East. She’s co-host of one of MBC TV’s most popular social programs, Kalam Nawaem (“Speech of the Soft”) and is former director of Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation.
Recognized for her passion for building bridges between the East and the West, and appointed as a Young Leader by the World Economic Forum and a Goodwill Ambassador by the UN, AbuSulayman has actively striven to unravel the stereotypes of what it means to be a modern Muslim woman. She is also a board member of the Muslim Women’s Fund (MWF) and Soliya, an organization devoted to improving communications between East and West through university education.
Amira Salah – @Amira_salah
Salah is the co-founder of Kherna, a social networking platform for organizations devoted to good causes which won a World Summit Youth Award in 2011 in the category of “Fight Poverty, Hunger and Disease.”
Conceived through a contest by the Egyptian NGO incubator Nahdet El Mahrousa, her enterprise Kherna blends charity and development with social media, providing NGOs with affordable communication channels as an alternative to traditional marketing.