An inspiring and motivational woman-Mona Tavassoli runs Mompreneurs Worldwide, has two beautiful children and is a role model for many mothers globally. Having founded the best momtrepreneurs group in the UAE, Mona has done it all.
1)Please tell us a little about yourself in a nutshell—where you’re from, how long you have lived in the UAE, what you do and what brought you here and inspired you to start your business.
My name is Mona Tavassoli and I am the founder and CEO ofMompreneurs Worldwide and the proud mom of two adorable boys. I came to Dubai in 1999 to go to university here from Iran, I got my BSc in Computer Science from University of Wollongong in Dubai, and I continued with my first Masters degree there with a Master of International Business. I slowly found my way into the Advertising world, working with a small local firm at first then moving on to Ogilvy and ultimately to Publics where I worked on brands such as Nestle before going off to France to get my second Masters degree in Strategic Tourism Management.
Meanwhile I got married and we went to France with my husband and we started our first company there called Fraise Blanche. It was a consultancy targeting companies who wanted to work between France and Dubai.
We came back to Dubai a few years later and we started our second company together, an Ad agency (since both of us had Ad agency backgrounds, it felt natural). We created Mom Souq as a “side project” under the agency and I had no idea that it would become a full time job on it’s own! A year later, Mompreneurs Middle East was born to support mom entrepreneurs in the region.
We have actually recently moved to Vancouver and our team and activities are still happening in Dubai and I’m back and forth between the two cities. We’ve also realized that the challenges of running a successful business and a thriving family are not limited to a region and we decided to rebrand to Mompreneurs Worldwide to serve a larger community and connect women entrepreneurs all around the world to each other.
It has been quite an interesting journey, and we have come to the point where we want to help entrepreneurs make better-informed choices and avoid the mistakes we made. I’ve actually shared my journey of establishing 6 brands and having 2 kids in between on my Podcast recently. If you want to hear the full story, listen to Episode 1 of my podcast, called You Can Have it All with Mona Tavassoli
2. Please talk a little more about your business/es—what is it/are they about?
Mompreneurs Worldwide is a platform for mom-entrepreneurs. We offer advice, entrepreneurial education, support group and basically create a safe place for momspreneurs to network, learn from each other and help each other grow.
We have a signature course called Mompreneur Rising for women entrepreneurs in which we teach them everything they need to know to set-up and scale their business, including Finance, Marketing, Fundraising, Public Speaking and more.
We also run events such as The Global Mentoring Walk, Dubai and Vancouver Chapters and The Mompreneur Forum.
3. Please tell us about some of the Awards/Achievements you have had as a momtrepreneur (not before being a mom). How did you attain them?
I have received many recognitions from the community that I’m very grateful for. I’ve received Young Alumni Award from University of Wollongong in Dubai and the Middle East Leadership award this year. The best award that I’ve ever received is “the Best Mom” award from my sons! 🙂
4. What inspired you to start your business and what have you learned from it?
The idea for Mompreneurs ME came about very organically. We were in the middle of the Mom Souq project, which is a platform form for new moms to exchange and sell their used baby products… sort of a way to hand down the things their kids outgrow, after a few weeks, we started getting requests from moms who had their own businesses to connect with our community. We said yes of course, it was a no-brainer… and before we knew it, we were working closely with more mompreneurs that the platform could handle… so we decided to spin that off as a separate business altogether.
5. Describe your favourite dish.
I enjoy Asian food, specially Sushi! Well, since I’ve became vegan, that’s the Avocado roll for me!
6. Tell us about your pet peeve.
What annoys me the most is not respecting something we don’t understand or agree with. The boundaries of the world are being removed every single day and it’s our duty to respect our differences and other point of views, even when they don’t make sense to us. We don’t have to accept it, we just need to respect it.
7. Tell us 3 things you learned from your kid/s alone.
1) to be more present
3) Unconditional love
8. If there is one element you wish you could change from your journey through being a momtrepreneur, what would it be and why?
I honestly wouldn’t change anything as the journey made me who I am today. If I have to pick one thing, then I would say that I wish I had started investing in myself earlier.
9. What is your favourite quote?
“You are in competition with no one, but yourself. Run your own race.”
10. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Empowering mothers through education is my life mission. I’ve recently decided to start our non profit division, The Mompreneur Foundation, to empower mothers who are less privileged.
I’m also working on my training, podcast and book, You Can Have it all which will have a larger audience of busy parents who are seeking harmony and balance in their lives.
11. What would you tell your much younger self if you had the chance to speak to her?
One thing I would say to my younger self is to enjoy the journey. Life is a journey and not a destination. I am a very goal oriented person and it took me some time to see beyond the end results and enjoy every step along the way. Today, I remind myself to enjoy little things in life.
12. What advice do you have for fellow moms and momtrepreneurs?
Keep discovering and learning, don’t be afraid of failure and other people’s judgements. Look at each and every step as a learning experience and nothing else. Be and do your best and let go of the results. The truth of the matter is that we only grow when we get out of our comfort zone and most people stay in their comfort zone because they are afraid of failure and they care about other people’s opinions about them. Set yourself free and keep flying!
Mona Tavassoli . Mompreneur . Speaker . Writer .
CEO and Founder – Mompreneurs Worldwide