In the “Lift as you Climb by Professional Mothers” session, and with the slogan “Courage is a Heart Word,” Walaa Samara – CEO and Founder of Walaa Samara Coaching LLC, and Program Manager at the Palestine Techno Park – dived deeply into the details of what made three mothers the great tech founders they are today through challenging both motherhood and entrepreneurship.
Ayah Dajani, a Computer Systems Engineering graduate who has had a passion for working with young students since she was in college, is currently working full time in her second startup, Young Explorer – a consultation platform that offers mothers at home assistance in supporting their children by connecting them with a variety of professionals.
Shatha Ajaj holds a Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction. Shatha gained experience in computer science, digital marketing, and digitalization through her work and learning experiences, and with her passion for fashion, she founded Modesta – an online retail website that promotes modest and contemporary clothing in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Dima Khalil earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting Information Management Systems. Dima wanted to properly raise her child, spend quality time with him, and educate him by using educational kids’ books and toys, but when she couldn’t find what she was looking for in local markets, she realized she wasn’t alone in her desire for such books and toys, so she began importing small quantities, which sold well, and encouraged her to continue to establish Crouse Life.
Between the lines in motherhood vs entrepreneurship
Investigating whether it is more important to be a mother or an entrepreneur; “As entrepreneurs, we face new challenges every day and must constantly figure out how to work through them,” Shatha explained. “Being a mother of two children is one of the additional challenges that we must overcome.”
“A mother’s relationship with her child is something to cherish; it is based on unconditional love, and it plays an important role in success if mothers invest in it properly,” Ayah added. My children filled a void in my life because I was lonely prior to their birth, but they have now become my best friends.”
Is motherhood a hindrance or a motivator for a business owner? Dima questioned herself, adding, “You can let it be either way, nothing can keep you from your goals as long as you don’t let it, it all depends on the person and their mindset.”
Shatha also expressed concern about our society’s misconceptions about mothers, saying, “Something is bothering here! Mothers are viewed as the sole caregivers for their children. Because mothers need their own time to focus on their lives and businesses, the responsibility for raising and caring for the children should be shared by the husband and wife.”
“This startup represents the most courageous thing I’ve ever done; I overcame the pain and fear that came with my son’s situation and turned them into something positive that helped many other people who might have been in a similar situation as me”- Ayah stated in reflection to being a founder to a solution to a pain perceived as a mother.
Tips from the tech-mothers:
- Set high standards for yourself and stick to them. Furthermore, being an entrepreneur is a 24-hour job, so expect to put in a lot of time and effort if you choose this path.
- Do what you enjoy, try new things, and take your project one step at a time; don’t rush it.
- Expect challenges along the way. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone; try everything; corporate experience may be for you, or you will at least benefit from it.