What is our Mission?
WIFB is a global initiative that offers an opportunity to women from all over the world to share their thoughts on matters relating to the family enterprise and sustainable business practices, connect with their peers, and contribute to the creation of a strong community.
We believe women’s economic empowerment needs to happen at all levels – including where women have the opportunity or burden to be born into business-owning families. We believe the women’s empowerment in family-owned firms is key for the individuals to thrive and for the family businesses to face a complex future with inclusive and strong leadership.
Our top priorities are: setting a global agenda for the empowerment of female inheritors and current and future business leaders, strengthening female leaders through access to thought leadership and creating a network of supportive and like-minded women. Female business leaders with long-term vision impact entire communities – we want to be their safe haven.
How it started…
In 2013 we, Ana Maria Matallana, Farida El Agamy, and Ramia El Agamy met in London, UK. We quickly realised that since we all were part of a Family Business, there was much to share and discuss.
Despite being from three very different parts of the world (Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East) we quickly realised that we shared many similar challenges, asked the same questions, and were looking for space for our ideas. Inspired by this first meeting we developed the dream of creating an international platform to connect women with a family business background from all over the world.
Our initiative is supported by the Tharawat Family Business Forum, a non-profit network of family-owned businesses founded in Dubai and “Women in Family Business” was launched in 2014.
Farida F. El Agamy
Social entrepreneur by conviction, lawyer by passion and profession, Farida has been the General Manager of the Tharawat Family Business Forum, the first knowledge resource and networking hub for family-owned companies in the Middle East and North Africa, since 2008. Farida’s main interests lie in the advancement of corporate and family governance systems, the economic impact of family firms on the economy, and the support of individual family members within the family business context.
Her previous professional experience includes legal positions in the Swiss government and in an international law firm, as well as at the United Nations in Geneva. Farida also works at Target Developments, her family’s firm based in Switzerland.
A global citizen at heart Farida has both a Dutch and Egyptian heritage and was educated in Switzerland and in the UK.
Ana Maria Matallana-Boggio
Ana Maria Matallana is currently involved in her husband’s Colombian family business as Chairman of the family foundation. She is ambitious and persistent in creating programs to better impact social problems in very poor communities in her beloved Colombia www.fundacionlacayena.org. Children education, and stay-at home women in vulnerabel situation are some of the focuses of the foundation. She also focuses on the education of family members underlining the values and importance of being a family business member. Her own experience made her passionate about the role of women in this context. She is a strong advocate for the advancement of women in business and believes in the positive impact they can have both in business, as well as in the education of future generations.
Ana Maria is of Colombian descent and has a Science degree in Management Science and Systems Analysis from the University of Miami, USA. She also has an Executive Master Scholar Degree in Non-Profit Management from Kellogg School of Management in Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. Ana Maria has been a speaker in family business matters focusing on her role in her family business; at the 3rd Continuum Family Business Conference in London, UK, at the Private Banking LatAm America’s Family Office Forum 2013, and at the NMS Family Office Forum 2014, Palm Beach Florida.
Ramia M. El Agamy
Ramia Marielle El Agamy is the Editor-in-Chief of Tharawat Magazine, (@Tharawatmag), a global publication for family businesses that attracts over 3 million readers (online and print) per year and encompasses a library of over 1000 articles. She is also the host of the podcasts The Family Business Voice and WiFB, strategic advisor in the Tharawat Family Business Forum as well as a Director in her family buisness’ board. Since 2017, Ramia is also CEO of Orbis Terra Media, a content studio and an award-winning publisher that stands for the highest standards in content production and omnichannel strategies. With a data-driven approach to content marketing and distribution, OTM specialises in helping brands achieve a consistent narrative across multiple platforms and to reach their audience.
Ramia holds a MSc in International Business and Management from Manchester Business School (UK). Born and raised in Switzerland, Ramia is of Dutch-Egyptian descent and currently lives between Bern, Switzerland, and Dubai, UAE. She speaks six languages, and her interests are focused on media, marketing, technology, content production, family business and entrepreneurship.
Founding Partner and Sponsor
The Tharawat Family Business Forum was founded in 2006 as an independent, non-profit, private sector business network for Arabian family-owned companies. With around 80%* of businesses in the Arab world being family-owned, their sustainability and growth is crucial for the region and its economy.
Tharawat supports the family business community by providing educational programs, thought leadership, networking opportunities, and a platform for the inter-generational and inter-regional exchange of knowledge and experience. The Tharawat Family Business Forum is an exclusive membership organisation, with activities both for its members, as well as for the wider business community.