Loulou is a Lebanese entrepreneur and business executive living and working in Dubai, UAE since 2003. After nearly a decade of work in the corporate world, Loulou founded Nabbesh, the leading online marketplace for freelancers across the Middle East and North Africa region in 2011 and has since become a spokesperson on the freelance economy, employment and entrepreneurship. Loulou is extremely passionate about helping startup founders through mentorship and investment via her angel network Kickstart Ventures which she founded in 2018. When time permits, Loulou spends time working with university students with interest in entrepreneurship and helps them hone in on their idea and create a good pitch!
Guest Abdulaziz Al Loughani Abdulaziz Al Loughani is co-founder & CEO of Floward, a full-fledged flowers and gifts ecommerce platform covering the GCC region. He is also the co-founder and Managing Partner of Faith Capital, a private venture capital practice that invests in the MENA region. Previously, Abdulaziz was the founding Executive Vice Chairman of the Kuwait National Fund for SMEs Development, a US$ 7 billion independent public institution responsible for developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Kuwait (2013-2017). He was a co-founder and CEO of Talabat.com until 2010, and has since then been investing in technology startups and has been involved in a number of local and regional entrepreneurial initiatives. Abdulaziz has served as an executive and member of board on a number of companies within the MENA region in the technology, banking, healthcare, manufacturing, consumer finance, food & beverage and the real estate sectors. Abdulaziz holds a Bachelor’s degree - with a double major in Information Systems and E-Commerce from the University of Toledo, and an MBA degree from London Business School. www.linkedin.com Abdulaziz Al Loughani co-founded and managed Talabat.com before it was acquired by Rocket Internet for $170m in 2015. He is currently the CEO of Floward, a flowers and gifts ecommerce platform and the co-founder and managing partner of Faith Capital, a Kuwait based private Venture Capital firm investing in MENA startups. Abdulaziz is a hardworking, brilliant and humble man whom I am proud to call a friend. He brings a lot of experience to the MENA startup scene and has even helped shape the Kuwaiti government’s strategy towards entrepreneurship and SMEs. In this conversation we discuss his views on the regional Venture Capital firms (VCs) and why he believes that little value is added beyond cash. We also discuss what founders need to build a company that lasts forever, opportunities for founders in MENA, exits, IPOs and more. This episode is a must listen entrepreneurs, angel investors and VCs.
Guest Sonia Weymuller Sonia is a Founding Partner of VentureSouq. Previously, she headed Advertising Sales for Turner Broadcasting’s portfolio of children’s platforms across MENA. Prior to Turner, Sonia worked with Viacom’s Emerging Markets’ Strategy Group and Microsoft’s Strategy and M&A team in London. She is a Charter Member & Board Director for TiE’s Dubai chapter, serves as the UAE Director for the Yale Alumni Schools Committee and is a Board Member and Mentor for e7 Daughters of the Emirates. Sonia holds a B.A. from Yale University, a MSc from the London School of Economics and is a Kauffman Fellow. twitter.com www.linkedin.com I’m joined on this episode by Sonia Weymuller, founding partner at VentureSouq, a Dubai-based investment platform. Sonia’s career started out in media & technology working with companies like Turner Broadcasting, Viacom and Microsoft before going on to found VentureSouq in 2015. Last year, she launched Conscious Collective, an impact-driven investment vehicle that is an extension of VentureSouq. Sonia is a Charter Member & Board Director for TiE’s Dubai Chapter, serves as the UAE Director for the Yale Alumni Schools Committee and is a Board Member and Mentor for e7 Daughters of the Emirates. Sonia is also a Kaufman Fellow. In this chat we discuss Sonia’s decision to switch to entrepreneurship and how she recovered from the curveballs in her life to find her inner Sisu, which is also what she named her rescued cat. Thanks to Primal Alignment for their support of this episode. If getting fit and staying fit has been a challenge for you especially recently, Coach Franky — a former Green Beret and former instructor of the British Commando’s training wing — is going to change your life. Register for the online program by visiting his website.
Guest Christopher Schroeder Christopher M. Schroeder is a leading American entrepreneur, advisor and tech investor. Currently, he has partnered with leading figures in Silicon Valley to invest in rising markets, with focus in South East Asia, The Middle East, Latin America and East Africa and co-founded Next Billion Ventures. He sits on the investment committees of Saudi Telecom Ventures and Wamda Capital and is a Network Parter for Village Global. Schroeder was the CEO of washingtonpost.newsweek interactive and co-founder of the Sequoia backed startup healthcentral.com, sold in 2012. He sits on numerous private company and non-profit boards. Schroeder has written and speaks extensively on global innovation for The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch among others and is seen regularly on CNN, CNBC and BBC. He is author of the recent best seller, and first book on startups in the Arab World, Startup Rising — The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East — with a forward by Marc Andreessen. Hs was named one of LinkedIn’s first 50 Influencers. twitter.com Login • Instagram www.linkedin.com Chris Schroeder is a global angel investor & advisor to tech startups with a keen interest in emerging markets. Chris is the co-founder of Next Billion Ventures, a venture capital fund focused on the next billion digital consumers across global emerging markets, he is a Network Partner for Village Global, an early venture capital fund backed by Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Diane Greene, Sara Blakely, Jeff Bezos, Reid Hoffman and many more exceptional entrepreneurs. He sits on the investment committees of Wamda Capital & Saudi Telecom Ventures and he is on the board of several private and NGO boards. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Chris started out in politics with the George W Bush (Senior) presidential campaign before becoming the CEO of the Washington Post/ Newsweek interactive. In 2005 he co-founded Health Central, a platform that helps people find and share real-life experiences related to their health needs. Health Central was backed by the likes of Sequoia, Polaris Ventures and the Carlyle Group to name a few and was acquired by Remedy Health in 2012. In 2013, Chris published the first book on the Middle East & North Africa’s entrepreneurship scene called: Startup Rising — The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East — with a forward by renowned investor Marc Andreessen. I’ve known Chris for nearly a decade and am delighted he let me ask the questions this time as he is the one who is always curious and eager to be of service. We talked about Chris’s transition into entrepreneurship from politics and corporate life, his fascination with entrepreneurship in the Middle East and emerging markets, the sectors he’s currently considering for investment and we touch on our need to step up and take control of our lives and also our biases. For those interested in learning more about fundraising for startups and venture capital, check out these 2 books: Venture deals by Brad Feld and (Secrets of Sand Hill Road](Secrets of Sand Hill Road) by Scott Kupor. Thanks to Joi Gifts for their support on this episode. Joi Gifts is the largest gifting marketplace in the Middle East, operating in 7 countries and covering 22 major cities. Use the code loulou15 to get a 15% discount on everything. Enjoy!
Guest Samer Hamadeh Samer Hamadeh has made his name in the Dubai restaurant and nightlife scene and most recently featured in the Arabian Business DXB100 list of people helping shape the future of Dubai. Samer is a serial entrepreneur having founded his first business at age 24, a corporate events business. It’s been almost 2 decades since those days and Samer has evolved to pioneer some of Dubai’s legendary clubs such as Stereo Arcade and Republique as well as funky restaurants such as Akiba Dori. Just shy of age 40, Samer is on a quest to help build more amazing and quirky concepts as well as help entrepreneurs who are looking to venture into the food and beverage space. Samer S. Hamadeh (@iammrbrightside) • Instagram photos and videos My guest Samer Hamadeh is a serial entrepreneur in the entertainment and Food & Beverage space having built some great concepts such as Republique, Stereo Arcade, Akiba Dori and more. I met Samer way before his food and beverage days when he was at Impact BBDO, where 7 months in, he was already on his way out, founding his first business in the corporate events space. Samer is the kind of guy you want to hang out with and learn from as he openly shares his successes and failures. I catch up with Samer to talk entrepreneurship, fundraising, managing a board of directors, building brands that people love and more. Thanks to Justmop for their support of the show. Justmop is an app and website that helps you connect with well-trained, pre-screened service professionals for disinfection & cleaning services with bio-safe, hospital-grade disinfectants. Use the code loulou30 to get 30% off your disinfection or sanitization service. Offer valid until end of July 2020.
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Creator Details

Dubai Design District, دبي‎, United Arab Emirates
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
9 hours, 41 minutes