Risk and benefits of doing business in the MENA region
As an expert analyst and researcher who has a Ph.D. in Political science, specializing in strategy planning, foreign policy, development, security, political risk, and the private sector in the MENA region. Ghaidaa believes for any organization looking to expand their operations in MENA, political turmoil and economic stability is a huge concern.
Understandably, the region is also a prime focus for NGOs and international humanitarian organizations. If we look at it geopolitically, it lies at the crossroads between Asia, Europe, and Africa, and this region continues to attract great power interests particularly in the defense, security, and intelligence sectors.
Ghaidaa explains, “Our risk assessment and scenario analysis build corporate capabilities to anticipate, deal with, and stay a step ahead of the political unrest. While the risk profile varies in the MENA region, it remains an investment destination with a sizeable consumer base, various profitable sector-specific opportunities, and space for economic development.”
Ghaidaa always had a natural inclination towards matters associated with politics even as a young kid. According to her, these political discussions only led her to build an understanding and communion with people around her, irrespective of their gender or background.
She reminisces, “I grew up with supportive and trusting male figures. From my dad and uncles to university mentors, the common denominator between all of them is that we mutually enjoyed discussing politics. I remember my first political chat was about the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, I was ten years old, and the interest and passion never ceased since then.”
Commenting on the challenges she ought to have faced being a woman in a field led by men, she adds, “Gaining professional degrees, two masters and doctorate, and work experience became a natural extension of a passionate and confident starting place. I mention this because the field of foreign policy, intelligence, and security is male-dominated, but in my experience, it is not an issue.”
There’s no surprise that Ghaidaa is now a proud owner of a certified Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) registered with the System for Award Management (SAM) and so far, she has successfully proven herself to be quite influential.
Overcoming prejudices as a female leader may have simply been a matter of observation and comprehension for Ghaidaa, but there are several other added responsibilities as a leader that need undivided attention.
The thing that keeps her motivated through the daily grind is knowing that she can do what she loves, and is successfully aiding business corporations in mitigating risks related to exploring the Middle East and North African markets.
Ghaidaa shares, “The best lesson I learned is that in business one is either learning or taking things personally, it is always better to learn from every experience and move on. Another lesson is that challenges can be opportunities and a start of a new growth period.”
When asked about her upcoming ventures as an entrepreneur, she simply asserts, “My current goal is to continue working with partners on new projects, and to attract skilled and experienced talents to work with our team.”