Meet the young and inspirational Shenin Hamid, who took an idea that started in her living room and turned it around to a big success in the region. At 24 years of age she is the CEO of Inspire Group a Dubai based events and brand activation company.
Arab Woman Platform had the pleasure to learn more on how Shenin turned her passion into a lucrative business.
Kindly share with our readers a little bit about your background?
I grew up in Sharjah my whole life in a middle class family. Both my parents worked — my mom as a teacher, and my dad with Khaleej Times. I grew up in a very supportive environment and often remember my parents encouraging us children to explore and pursue our passions. My dad used to always tell me to do what I really love and not do it just for the sake of money. I finished my BA in Dubai and am currently pursuing my MBA from Harvard University.
How did the idea of your business come about?
When I was in college I had the opportunity to freelance in events and activations. I built a great network of contacts. After university, I single handedly executed my first freelance job with Rugby 7’s to staff the entire event. This helped me build credibility with my clients; then I was approached directly by another client to execute another large event. And that set me on the journey to get a trade license and start Inspire Group ME. One client and project led to another, and when it became too much to manage alone, I began hiring people. Our team has grown organically from day one.
What are some challenges that faced you as a young entrepreneur in a sea of big fish and how did you overcome them?
Because of what I learnt from my dad, I never really thought that anything was impossible. I always went for what I wanted and set high goals. But since I’ve never been an employee, it was hard to know whom to hire, so I struggled with this area and even with financial management. As I believe mentorship is so important, I put in place a board for my company. One of the people that sit on my board is Judy Goddard, who is a talent acquisition professional; she is an ex Apple, Emirates and Microsoft professional who currently works with many cool tech companies.
What is next for Shenin?
Apart from my work at Inspire, my passion for the youth has only grown over the years. This lead me to create a movement for the youth in the Middle East that will help un-lock their potential in becoming leaders, influencers, and game-changers of tomorrow. I’ve partnered with the private and public sector to bring this dream to reality. It is a platform for the youth where they can be themselves and cherish it, without succumbing to the norms of the society, with the freedom to becoming who they want to be while playing a vital role in changing the world. This will be their platform, this will be their growth, this will be their vision station. It’s coming soon!
What advice do you give young girls who have business ideas but not sure where or how to start?
Dive right into it. If you think way too much about what you want to set out and do, it’ll end up not happening. Be wise, surround yourself with mentors, but also be brave to take the first step. Have faith that everything else will fall into place at the right time.