Scale-up HER challenge

WEBB Middle East
Posted February 18, 2018 from United Arab Emirates

Rim siam was Recognized by;


and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation(UNIDO) as one of 16 success stories

Rim Siam is an ambitious Egyptian woman entrepreneur who has succeeded in making a mark as far afield as the UAE and Asia and who has reached out to women entrepreneurs globally through the creation of an internet-based women’s marketplace called WEBB International Middle East Ltd. This offshore company offers a wide spectrum of business and consulting services in order to develop cross-cultural connections and cross-border business relations. From the beginning, Siam showed signs of great leadership. She chose a line of business completely different from her family business – antique dealing. “To be an antique dealer was not easy in the beginning. I was living in a conservative society and working in a market that was male-dominated without any experience and with little capital of my own,” she recalls, “but I loved antiques and was very determined. I first started working on a consignment basis. Next, I started attending international auctions and learned how to become a bidder. Soon I made the transition from dealer to manufacturer of detailed reproductions.” In 2004, Siam’s new business of reproduction of antiques entered the Gulf market when she opened a branch of the company in the Ras al Khaimah Free Trade Zone in the United Arab Emirates. Since then, she has marketed her products through exhibitions and gained visibility and success. She has also pioneered a new line of business – the restoration and recreation for value of traditional oriental handmade carpets by adding hand-painted features and using them as interior décor statement pieces. Throughout her journey to success in business, Siam observed the interaction between different nationalities and how they worked to gain competitive advantage in the global market. She channeled her ambition and her observations into various professional bodies such as the Egyptian Economy Businesswomen’s Council/the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce of which she is Founder-President; the Asian-Arab Chamber of Commerce of which she is the Director in Egypt, and the Hot Mommas Project affiliated to the George Washington University School of Business of which she is RegionalCountry Manager. She has also won several awards for her work as a businesswoman and mentor. A strong believer in giving back to the community, Siam has been a mentor for women entrepreneurs globally. She believes that women make excellent entrepreneurs, so playing an important role in connecting them by using the internet as a springboard to economic participation is a great use of resources.Through her women’s business e-marketplace, WEBB International Middle East Ltd., Siam has created an offshore online business platform that brings together female entrepreneurs to form a powerful economic force. Siam embarked on an ambitious mentoring outreach program in association with UNIDO ITPO Bahrain. She is participating in the “Empowering 20,000 Women and Youth by 2020” project. In this project, UNIDO ITPO Bahrain will work through 200 leaders in Arab and African countries to build a network of Training of Trainers (TOT) leaders. These trainers will provide entrepreneurship training to women entrepreneurs, helping them to translate their idea from “image to income.” The training lessons reach the maximum number of would-be women entrepreneurs through the TOT. The leaders will be building capacities to gain quality management knowledge and expertise. Each leader will be responsible for sponsoring the training of 100 women and youth in their countries. As a member of the core 200 in this project, Siam lends depth and credibility to the ambitious target of 20,000 beneficiary women entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa region by 2020. As a trader in local and global market, Siam’s advice to entrepreneurs is “Do not count what you have lost. The past never comes back but sometimes the success and the future can give you back what you have lost even more than the early losses. Remain committed to your dreams. See what you have now and continue to trade-off between benefits and risks until you achieve your dreams.” When asked about one of her most memorable experiences, she said: “In November 2015, WEBB received support from UN Women and the UN Global Compact. This allowed us to take action in support of the UN Sustainable DevelopmentGoal 5 (SDG5) and the Women’s Empowerment Principles by creating the first women’s business enterprise platform.”

Women Entrepreneurs. Women Empowered.

Comments 1

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Jill Langhus
Feb 19, 2018
Feb 19, 2018

Hi there. Thanks for sharing the work of Rim Siam. Her work and story are certainly inspiring and impressive. I'm following her WEBB page now on FB, and am eager to hear more about the initiatives she is working on, in particular the Training of Trainers (TOT).