"Planting the right seeds today will contribute to a more sustainable tomorrow."
Hanane Benkhallouk, author of the book Seeds of Change, sets a guideline for determined entrepreneurs, as well as others, on how to accept, adapt to or create the best changes in their lives and strategies on how to remain relevant in an uncertain world.
Below, read more about Hanane’s ‘why’ behind writing her latest book called SEEDS OF CHANGE and the ways that it can guide female entrepreneurs to find the best version of themselves through their careers.
It is no secret that the Middle East has officially become a hub for entrepreneurs to start their empires. Gulf countries such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia are enticing entrepreneurs to contribute to their respective economies, as a way to attract more investment ventures. Especially, with female entrepreneurs setting exponential growth in the Middle East. Passionpreneur Publishing has announced the global release of Seeds of Change by Hanane Benkhallouk, an inspiring book that conveys the acceptance of change, thrive, and remain relevant in a fast-paced uncertain world. Hanane is a prized senior consultant and entrepreneur, with over twenty years of diverse experiences in international markets. Also, a certified culture change and innovation strategist, she holds a DBA and MBA and is an advisor for various corporations and government institutions, NGOs, and SMEs in building human-centric business models and creating innovation. In an age where competition is at an all-time high for employees and aspiring entrepreneurs, Hanane’s book stands as a testament to inspire change and growth for the ones seeking it.
The purposeful drive behind Seeds of Change, from a female Arab entrepreneur’s perspective, lies in the simple tenacity of an entrepreneur as expressed by Hanane. “First, I always defined entrepreneurs as problem solvers and change-makers, who need to inspire others to follow suit and be the change they want to see in the world. “I see a book in you” was expressed by many who I believed in and whom I did not want to disappoint, was the trigger behind me taking the step of writing Seeds of Change,” says Hanane. The book aims to elevate its target audience by sharing all the insights and learning collected throughout Hanane’s 20 years of a professional career surrounded by diverse audiences. Hanane introduces the readers to a thought process and a structural framework, and has the main attributes that will be needed to develop a more resilient and understanding individual. “It helps with what it means to be human-centric, to avoid obsolescence, remain relevant, and be intentional about planting the right seeds today to contribute to a more sustainable world tomorrow,” expresses Hanane.
"I see more and more Arab women choosing the entrepreneurial journey over corporate jobs, which is another proof that we will continue to see more Arab female entrepreneurs rising in the scene.”
SEEDS is an acronym for Sense (and sense-making), Engage, Empower, Develop and Sustain. The five virtues are for readers to delve into with a deeper understanding in a mission to reach their best version. The entwined steps can be adapted for different contexts, scenarios and individuals who want to reset their career paths, beneficial for startups who are starting fresh, and established businesses, all to stay afloat in the recent on-going unprecedented times. “It forces everyone to think like a startup and the notion of “established” is challenged by the book, the whole point is to steer away from thinking that you are established and successful and be ready to always transform yourself, your business, your structure, and processes, among much more,” says Hanane.
SEEDS of Change encourages reprogramming of the mind to adopt a resilient leader’s mindset. Hanane predicts that the entrepreneurial scene in the Middle East, especially for Arab females, is set for exponential growth as the market is ripe and opportunities are endless as the culture has changed and is very accepting now. “The governments are vocal about advancing this agenda in their development plans, in my 12 years of involvement in the entrepreneurship ecosystem across the region, I see more and more Arab women choosing the entrepreneurial journey over corporate jobs, which is another proof that we will continue to see more Arab female entrepreneurs rising in the scene.”
Overall, the MENA market has shown great support in welcoming and encouraging more female entrepreneurs as well as nurturing female entrepreneurs to become exemplary leaders. “If I compare my generation as a Xer and the ones before us, to the millennials and Z, I feel that they had it and will have it much easier. I sense that finally there is a conviction that we can’t prosper as economies and societies if we are not intentional about including and creating opportunities for women.” shares Hanane. She views the market with much optimism stating that all the efforts taken to accelerate support for female entrepreneurs will reach its highest in due time. She also lends advice for women who feel discouraged or intimidated to start a new business during COVID, she insists that during an unparalleled crisis, comes opportunities. “Entrepreneurship needs courage; it is about the ability to take a risk and see every crisis, no matter how much adversity it causes, it comes with prospects. We just need to be passionate enough to Sense those openings and Engage actively with our target audiences so we understand how our products and services will work. Empower them by adding volume, before we Develop our final offering so we make sure that we are Sustaining our growth” says Hanane.
In today’s world, ambitious individuals need leadership attributes that are referred to as human-centric and considered to be rather feminine, such as empathy, collaboration and hands-on decision-making strategies. As Hanane concludes “I’d say, the 21st-century business world will be female-led, let’s continue planting the right SEEDS for it.”
About The Editor
Born in Bangladesh and raised in the Middle East, UAE and Bahrain, Reefaya is a postgraduate from The London School of Economics in U.K. and an undergraduate from Sussex University. Reefaya has an immense love for sustainable fashion, social development and art.