Starting your own business can be confusing and challenging. It’s a tough journey with its own perks and advantages. Like everything around, we would not know about it unless we get our feet wet.
In the following interview with our CEO at the incubation panel discussion at American University in Dubai (AUD) Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center, Keren shares insights about her entrepreneurial journey, and how she overcame the biggest challenges on the way to success in the United Arab Emirates.
Dedicated to the topic of “Being a Founder” this panel discussion meant to disclose the challenges and successes that founders experienced on their startup journey.
Below are the highlights of the panel discussion.
What has been your entrepreneur journey like? Please start at the beginning, from when and how you got the idea to initiate your startup.
There is always a stage when you understand that you need more space and independence to implement your innovative ideas.
So, I started my first business because I felt a strong desire to grow and develop my capabilities - I wanted that independence that could help me grow professionally and personally. When I decided to start, I didn’t know what to believe and what not to believe, and there was incorrect information around, with things not being transparent. There was no clarity. So, I thought of setting up a service company with the most accurate information available in the market being: transparent, dedicated to our client, thorough with all the regulations and new rules of the United Arab Emirates, with a passion for helping other people grow and expand in the UAE.
Now My Business Consulting DMCC is widely known in the UAE market as a provider of hyper-personalized business setup solutions and high-quality corporate services at a justifiable cost. We help investors of various levels: from startups, SMEs, multinationals, publicly listed to government-owned companies, to establish their business in the UAE, advising on the most suitable free zone, company ownership structure, business activities, involved costs, and required documents. Further, we handle the business licensing process from A-to-Z, assist with bank account opening, UAE residence visas, provide cost-effective accounting and admin services.
What makes me proud about my company is that ever since we came into existence, our expertise has been widely acclaimed both locally and internationally. We have received 26 awards and won the award for Top Performing Consultant of Multi Commodity Center Free Zone (DMCC) for five consecutive years, which is the best Free Zone in the world.
What were your greatest challenges when starting your business?
My biggest challenge was how to restart my career after having kids and not working for several years. To go back to work was the toughest decision as I was happy with my life and kids. But I was always passionate about taking up projects and building things, and that’s what I felt was missing. I believe the toughest challenge was to come back to the working space and move out of my comfort zone. And, of course, coming up with the right business idea and process of how to implement it.
Once I started my business, I realized that one of the most challenging tasks is to manage the team. I worked in several companies that micromanaged people. And kind of killed their creativity. Which I had decided from day one, won't happen in my organization.
As you all know, we work in a multi-cultural society. So different people come from different cultural backgrounds. But the vision and the mission of the company have to be implemented in a way that every team player equally participates towards the same.
To keep the entire team in sync with each other, to have the same positive mindset that can help you grow – to align everybody towards the same goal of the company - I believe it's the most challenging part.
What are the key learnings that you would like to share with all new entrepreneurs?
All new entrepreneurs, thinking to start the business, I would like to say, to remove the fear of what might go wrong. That’s the first thing that needs to go. Once you did it, you have an idea of how to do it and what are the challenges you face. Think about what can go right and what you can achieve. Don’t let that fear stop you from starting, and always be open to challenges.
Set your mind. A positive mindset will help you find the way. Without a positive mindset, you cannot reach your goals, so no scope for negativity as this hinders you from achieving the goals.
Be persistent. You can have great ideas, but if you are not persistent, it will not work. Be open to ideas, changes, and innovations. Positively adapting to everyday change is the way to grow.
As Charles Darwin said: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. But it is the one that is most adaptable to change.”
So, I want to say – don’t be scared, remove the fear, have a positive mindset, and be persistent. Nothing can stop you from achieving your dreams!