From fashion to food, foreign brands have often captured the fancy of local markets. But entrepreneurs in the Middle East are putting up a tough competition, creating impactful homegrown brands that have scaled regionally as well as globally. In the Middle East, women have played a key role in creating brands that have captured the interest of users while evolving into a profitable and sustainable business. Keeping this in mind, this year for the first time we are unveiling a list of Women Behind Middle Eastern Brands. These trailblazers have built their successful brands from scratch and grown them to the size they are today.
They are also behind some of the region’s most successful startups, which have managed to net millions in funding and have forged their paths in emerging fields such as e-commerce. Some notable female entrepreneurs include Ghizlan Guenez, who founded the first global online destination for luxury modest fashion, The Modist, and designer, Reem Acra, who found fame in Hollywood by dressing celebrities such as Halle Berry and Beyoncé. Arab businesswomen like Huda Kattan, meanwhile, have used social media platforms to grow their brands. Kattan, whose Huda Beauty brand rakes in $250 million in annual sales, started out in finance before making a name as a makeup artist and beauty blogger in 2010.
In creating the list, we considered the following factors:
· Revenues / growth rate
· Social media followers
· Number of countries the brand is present in
· Celebrities who believed in the brand
· Media coverage
· Amount of funding the startups received from outside sources
· Editorial points
We also have two other lists: “Women Leading Top Companies In The Middle East” and “Women Heading Family Businesses In The Middle East”. The former features women who are CEOs of major companies in the region, and the latter features women who play prominent roles in their family businesses, leading them to further growth.
In creating those lists we looked at:
· Number of years of experience
· Other positions held either in government or social organizations