The Hilarious Melltoo Co-Founders on their Marriage and Serial Entrepreneurship
When Apple invited me to do a live podcast in their Dubai Mall store for International Women’s Day, I immediately thought of bringing Sharene and Morrad on the show. I love that this couple defies numerous stereotypes, and that their values seemed aligned with those of Apple: innovation and execution. This husband and wife team have together started and sold multiple businesses from the US to Dubai to Malaysia… All while raising 6 children. Sharene Lee is a Singaporean Chinese who I KNOW is always smiling under her niqab. She had founded and sold 2 businesses in Los Angeles and Paris before her 25th birthday. Morrad Irsane is French Algerian. Having been raised in a family of 13 children, buying and selling second-hand has always been a way of life; so much so that Morrad’s illiterate mother built a thriving business on this trade, and eventually was able to afford a 13-bedroom house in Algeria. Inspired by his mother’s entrepreneurship journey, Morrad modeled their latest business venture on his mother’s – but made it digital. In 2014, Sharene and Morrad cofounded Melltoo, a secondhand e-commerce platform that connects buyers and sellers and focuses on a triple bottom line: people, planet and profit. We discussed a variety of things: from Morrad’s hand-me-downs to his mother’s entrepreneurial success. I asked about the couple’s coffee shop in a dodgy part of Los Angeles, how they furnished it for free and used the Los Angeles Police Dept as a marketing tool! We talked about exiting businesses at the right price. I asked about their large family and I loved Sharene’s tip that the best tool for a better life is “lower expectations”! Finally, the pair disagreed on entrepreneurship, whether it is a learned skill or something you are born with. What do you think? If you would like to learn more, please head to the . This episode was recorded live in the Dubai Mall Apple Store as a Today @ Apple event, so you may hear babies, mobile phones or sound chops from time to time! A huge thank you to Lubna, Rob and the Apple team for hosting us. Finally, please remember wherever you are to subscribe to the podcast, and do rate and review it when you can. Thank you!
The Untold Story of Women & Space History - Sue Nelson
This show is about women in space, in science and in history. It’s only becoming mainstream knowledge now that there were many women involved in global space programs in the 1960s. As part of the Mercury 13, Wally Funk was one of the pioneering women of space travel who often outperformed male astronaut candidates in tests of endurance. But just one week before the final phase of training, the programme was abruptly cancelled. Politics and prejudice meant Wally never flew into space. Undeterred, she went on to become an accomplished pilot and America's first female aviation safety inspector. Today’s guest, Sue Nelson, is a physicist who has authored a book about Wally Funk and her colleagues of Mercury 13. You’ll be shocked when you hear what they went through just to take the tests - from being divorced by their husbands to losing their jobs, these ladies pursued space and science at immense personal cost. Sue wrote this book to bring their stories, experiences and learnings to a broad audience, in the hope of inspiring girls to pursue their dreams in science, and ensuring that the huge sacrifices and contributions that female aviators have made do not get left out of history books. Sue Nelson is an award-winning science journalist and broadcaster, formerly a BBC science correspondent and Radio 4 presenter. You can find her on . Gift it widely! While you're here, please do subscribe to the podcast, tap a rating or write a review! Thank you.
Rana Salhab on the Skills, Policies & Practices of Tomorrow
My guest on today’s show was ranked by the Financial Times as one of the Top 5 “Global Champions of Women in Business” in 2017 and 2018. Rana Ghandour Salhab is the Talent and Communications partner at Deloitte, Middle East, covering 16 countries in the region and with numerous responsibilities, from building strategies in the field of human capital to overseeing Deloitte ME’s media, communications and CSR activity. Rana also advises governments across the Middle East on gender equality laws and practices, and serves on the advisory boards of multiple organizations such as Reach Mentoring and the 30% Club. We talked about the skills of tomorrow and how artificial intelligence will not take away all our jobs. We explored the pros and cons of having choice, and Rana's perspectives reassured us that very few decisions are actually momentous and have life-long impact. We also discussed confidence, risk-taking and the imposter syndrome – this is actually a great follow-on from the last episode, how we raise boys to be brave and girls to be perfect. Finally, Rana shared her thoughts on what corporations and governments could do to help women thrive and deliver. To find out more about Rana or get in touch with her, head over to . Thank you for listening to this episode. While you’re here, remember to like and subscribe.
Be Brave, Not Perfect - Reshma Saujani
Reshma Saujani committed her first act of bravery at the age of 33 when she ran for political office in New York. She lost – badly. Instead of being defeated by it, she was set free… she discovered her bravery muscle and started to exercise it more. For example, she set up an NGO about coding when she knew nothing about start-ups – or coding. Girls Who Code is a US non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a programmer looks like. Reshma’s TED talk, "Teach girls, bravery not perfection," has more than four million views and sparked a national conversation about how we’re raising our girls. This led her to write her 3 rd book " Brave, Not Perfect " During our chat we discussed society’s impact on girls and what we could do differently. I asked Reshma for practical tools on how we ourselves could be braver. In fact, this was a great follow-on to the last When Women Win episode with Najla Al Midfa, which explored resilience: how can you build resilience unless you’re allowed to fail? And finally, we talked about coding and how it cultivates bravery in girls and gives them permission to be less than perfect. To find out more about Reshma and purchase her book, head over to While you're here, please remember to subscribe to the podcast and do take a minute to rate or review it. Thank you.
Cultivating Resilience, Cultivating Entrepreneurship - Najla Al Midfa
Today’s show is about cultivating resilience. But before we get into Najla’s own path of navigating social norms and obstacles, we talk about her unusual job. Najla is the CEO of Sheraa, a government entity that has been tasked to turn a cultural city into a bustling entrepreneurship hub. We discussed why Sharjah has chosen this strategy and what the critical elements are to create a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem. Culture plays a huge role here, at a micro and macro level, as does the word “failure”. We talked about the different needs that entrepreneurs have at various stages of their journey, and how that translates into programs at Sheraa (by the way, these are all free of charge). Finally, Najla shared her story of how she got onto the board of a bank, an entertaining and eye-opening mix of head, heart and hustle. Prior to joining Sheraa, Najla had worked at the Khalifa Fund and McKinsey and Company’s New York office, primarily serving clients across the financial institutions sector. Her experience also includes roles within PwC and Shell. Najla is a board member of United Arab Bank, where she also chairs the Board Audit Committee and is a member of the Board Risk Committee. She is Vice-Chairperson of Young Arab Leaders and a fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Middle East Leadership Initiative. Najla holds an MBA from Stanford University. To find out more about Najla and to get in touch, follow her on