Entrepreneurship has been everywhere recently. It seems like everyone these days is either talking about it, performing it, or working in something related to it. We spoke to Alexandra Broennimann, one of the female entrepreneurs who have been doing it so well, that she should be an inspiration to any woman planning on delving into the business.
After 10 years of escalating success, what do you think are the main challenges female entrepreneurs still face?
Entrepreneurship has been, for long time, a man’s territory. However frustrating it sounds, it’s quite natural that female business owners still face significant obstacles because of their gender. It is a matter of fact that it is much harder for female entrepreneurs to find funding than is for their male counterparts. We also have to balance our family life with work, but what is ironic is that women often lack the support of other female business leaders. It is not only women fighting the stigma, but also women fighting between themselves. Also, women systematically underestimate their abilities; we don’t negotiate our salaries, we fear of failing, and often get paralyzed by the expectation to succeed at everything.
“However frustrating it sounds, it’s quite natural that female business owners still face significant obstacles because of their gender.”
Describe the identity of No Square Design in 5 words.
We are hard working, respectful, creative, effective and sometimes a little bit weird.
Do you believe that some women can really have it all? Or are there always endless compromises?
I would say that we need to make endless compromises in order to have it all. And the hardest part is sustaining it all.
As an award-winning entrepreneur, what are the global entrepreneurship awards that you dream of winning one day?
It’s not about awards – those are rather for the sake of fun and recognition from clients. The main challenge is to be able to constantly adapt to the latest trends in consumer behavior, and sustain the culture of innovation. The award you win today definitely will boost our ego, but it has no affect on the quality of the work you produce tomorrow.
“The award you win today definitely will boost our ego, but it has no affect on the quality of the work you produce tomorrow.”
Working in Human Rights in the Middle East, and especially Egypt is very challenging, what are the challenges you faced so far and how do you think you’ll handle them?
The Egyptian people amazed the world and history thousands of years ago. The Egyptian revolution in 2011 is no different from that. I believe that Egypt will have a bright future when it promotes inclusiveness, justice, and democracy for all Egyptians. As a branding and strategy agency, we learned a lot from some projects that we worked on with human rights organizations. This made us believe that inclusiveness, democracy, justice and freedom of speech is the way to make Egypt on the development path. I am very positive this will eventually happen. Egypt is very strategic country in the Middle East region and I believe that the Egyptian people will continue to amaze the future, as they did amazed human history.
“This made us believe that inclusiveness, democracy, justice and freedom of speech is the way to make Egypt on the development path.”
As a philanthropist, what are the major issues you think should be taken into consideration in Egypt?
I am purely a remote observer, but I have the honor to be working with various Egypt-based companies and Egyptian colleagues. Therefore, I get a little taste of the current situation. Egypt as viewed from outside is perceived as a country struggling with crime rate.
I think that Egypt need to prepare for the future by promoting quality education system, elevating poverty, promoting social justice, and development of rural areas in the south and remote areas. Egypt’s most valuable resource, in my opinion, is the human resources; its people. Country with some 90 million population most of them at are young can do a lot.
What’s your entrepreneurship ambition in the Middle East?
We are working hard to develop our business mainly in The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and of course Egypt. We have already established a strong network and client base, and our goal now is building and sustaining the business.
How do you see No Square Design in the next five years?
Growing on expertise, keeping up with the latest trends and staying fun.
We want it all! And ideally, we want it yesterday”
You define beauty and brains, what are the major pillars a woman should have to feel complete?
That probably varies from one individual to another, but in my case, confidence, self respect, discipline, healthy lifestyle and some quality man material by her side can be also quite helpful. Of course, it is all about balance.
Do you know what women want?
We want it all! And ideally, we want it yesterday; and I think every one of us should go and get it! We just need to slightly adjust our expectations. There are very few cases of overnight success, in general its all about hard work and lot of patience.