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„Ouissal“ the EMA German-Arabic Mentoring Programme – Part 3

Ouissal Diary third part:

How quick things can change!

In one of our meetings Sarah mentioned that she was facing some issues and obstacles. It turned out that payment policies of the big clients did not place her as a priority putting her in a difficult situation – there was simply not enough cash-flow to cover all the costs she had.

Apart from working on her own invoicing policies (which were far too simple considering the growth her young company experienced) I as her mentor in leadership matters could not do much. Anyway in order to support her in solving this acute situation we did a long brainstorming to evolve some ideas about possible immediate solutions.

The results were simple and if the plans could be adopted quickly potentially very effective. One of the ideas she pursued firstly was looking for an investor through a joint venture with a consultant she happened to know.

And here comes the result: It took no more than a few days to find the right partner!

A European entrepreneur had started developing his business in the North-African Region for various companies and products. He needed exactly this kind of online marketing support.

There was only one hitch about it: He only wanted to invest if he could buy the whole company and make it a profit centre under his holding roof.

Sarah was perplexed as was I…

Our next sessions were dealing with what she herself really wants and it turned out that she could do with a sabbatical, thinking about all her other ideas, picking out the one she wants to follow and then founding her own start-up-business again – this time with money, more experience and know-how about economics for building it up which she as an (extremely young) engineer the first time did not have.

So we were focussing on her negotiation skills and her presence in the meetings with the buyer.

It worked! Now Sarah is one of these young people who earned a small fortune with their first business idea – not like Silicon Valley people but enough to take some time out, to support her mother, even her brother (which is still absolutely normal in her culture) for a while and then start something new! For some months she of course is still hired to make the transition of the company smooth and to ensure integration in the new structure but soon she will be free…

So here my story ends.

It was a unique experience and I am grateful for the opportunity to meet Sarah and expand my professional network further through international mentors!

© Dr. Cristina Barth Frazzetta

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