Nour Abu-Ragheb 

Partner & Co-Founder

Edvise ME – Consulting services for organizations working in education and with youth

What her business does

Provide consulting services to strengthen key functions at organizations that work in the education and youth sectors. These services are in the following areas: strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, business development and broader technical assistance.

Her business journey and how she arrived at the business idea and started her own business

It had been 7 years at USAID/Jordan and my daughter was 3 months old when I decided it was the right time to move on and do my own thing. My colleague and I (who is now Edvise ME’s co-founder and partner) have had conversations about starting our own thing but we were waiting for the right time. Although it may sound counter intuitive, but both of us having newborns made us convinced we were ready for the next challenge; a challenge that would consume so much time and effort but not restricted between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm so that we have flexibility to spend time with our children but also get our company established. We were clear on what the company would focus on; basically filling in the gaps that we identified exist in the market (in our sectors) and in the capacity of the stakeholders so that we enable organizations be more efficient and effective in education reform and youth development efforts.

What she finds most rewarding about having her own business

The decision making is ours and the mistakes are as well. We learned so much because of that!

How she approaches being a mum and an entrepreneur

This has evolved over the past 3 years (since we became business owners). First year I worked from home, and most of the productivity was after 7:00 pm- after the baby has gone to sleep. It was difficult thinking I was not giving neither (work or child) the time or focus they deserved. The second year was slightly easier since my daughter started preschool (but only for a few hours a day). I was getting more done during the day, even though still from home, because I was not distracted by the baby. I was distracted with house work though… and often! The third year is when we decided it is time to rent office space- my daughter goes to preschool from 9-2:30, and I am at the office during that time which has been really important. I always try to keep my promise (I made to myself) and not work between 2:30 and 7:30 and those are the hours in which I am purely a mother. At times, with deadlines and working with people in different time zones, exceptions are made- but generally, I put my child first during those hours. It has not been easy, especially living with the guilt of not giving anything or anyone a 100%.

The biggest challenges she has faced in her business

Making financial projections- because of the responsive nature of our business (responsive to needs of organizations), it has been difficult to project estimated income.

How she overcame those challenges

Constant business development and prioritizing “longer-term” assignments.

What do you celebrate as accomplishments in your business?

Repeat clients- our approach, dedication and high standards make clients ask to expand our scope, commission other assignments to us or even request we identify needs and develop a plan of assistance based on our knowledge of them.

Advice to mums considering entrepreneurship

Make sure you have the support you need for when you make mistakes, when you are feeling guilty, and when you are completely exhausted (mentally and physically)!

Visit Nour’s website

 

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