Stories from women entrepreneurs

Malak is on her way to international export

Malak al Akiely is the managing director of Golden Wheat for Grain Trading Co, and a member of the Business and Professional Women Association in Amman. She participated in the mission for women entrepreneurs from Jordan to the Netherlands that was organized by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Together with the Netherlands Export Combination we organized a training and company visits for the group. Malak achieved wonderful results.

She started business collaboration with globally active Dutch companies in the agricultural sector, specifically grains. They are working together with a main first class Dutch grain company for the Jordan, Iraqi and Nigerian market.

She got technical expertise and sector-specific know-how. One of the Dutch companies she met helped her company to advise the Jordan government on wheat tender terms and conditions, particularly in grain sampling, testing and inspection.

The training unleashed creativity and talent and made them feel proud of who they are. As a result she is now more specific and clear about what she want for herself and the company.

Last but not least, she thought it was wonderful to meet all those amazing ladies from Jordan and the Netherlands and hear their success stories because they came from different fields, without the mission she would never have met them.


Bongani found the courage to quit her job

When Bongani started the Brilliant Entrepreneur training in Zimbabwe in she was only a part time entrepreneur. Her enterprise is called Vertex International, a travel agency that wants to boost tourism to Southern Africa and enhance the quality of learning in Zimbabwean schools through educational tours to Europe for teachers and students. Next to that she was teaching French at private schools.

She always felt that there was potential to grow her business to the next level, but she found it hard to leave the security of a job. The Brilliant Entrepreneur program helped her get the confidence and opened many doors. Add to this that she won the Women in Enterprise Award in the tourism sector, and this all built up to the courageous step of quitting her job and focusing fully on her business.

Her company will expand with a branch helping business women with business English and French. Next to that she is also setting up a trust in Bulawayo to help starting girl entrepreneurs, which includes a mentorship program. 

Bongani is full of passion and energy for her company and we believe together with her that it will thrive!

Credits for the picture go to SheInspiresHer. On their site you can also read a nice interview with Bongani.


Kareen's talent does not lie

Talent does not work with ‘alternative facts’. You may get side-tracked for a while and get lost, but if you remain aware of your talent, you will automatically get back on your feet at some point.


This is what Kareen in Zimbabwe experienced. She was one of the participants in our Brilliant Entrepreneur programme. Kareen runs a business in window decoration, and makes people in Zimbabwe happy with Luxaflex, beautiful blinds and awnings.

Being a brilliant entrepreneur suits her very well. Her business is growing fast and she has even started to expand to Zambia and South Africa. Not bad for an entrepreneur in a country that is currently in serious financial crisis.



Still, something began to gnaw at her. She then realised that she did not have enough space for her talent. Kareen’s talent is ‘creative visualiser’. She started to reflect on her success. She had left a creative environment and opted for production. Now she missed the creative part. Should she continue down this path and end up burned out and unhappy on the sofa? That is not what she wanted.

She needed to change things. She needed to reorganise her business drastically to create space for creativity. This called for the delegation of production tasks on the one hand, while creating a design team for a new home decoration product line based on her own designs, on the other. She immediately gained new inspiration for her work. And she gained a unique position on the market!