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.

What is the Vision of WIFB?

The vision of WIFB is to become a  resource and sharing platform for women involved in the family enterprise.

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.

The Founders

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.orgChildren 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), the global publication for family businesses and a product established by her family. With an emphasis on family business education and research, she has helped expand her family business’ activities from Dubai, UAE, across the Middle East and now works with family business associations around the world to bring best practice to this knowledge field. Ramia’s passion is to work with her own family that has offered her a uniquely exciting entrepreneurial career and much love and support.

Ramia holds a MSc in International Business and Management from Manchester Business School (UK) and is currently undertaking her PhD in family business CSR practices at the University of Nijmegen (Netherlands). Born and raised in Switzerland, Ramia M. El Agamy is of Dutch-Egyptian descent and currently lives between Bern, Switzerland, and Dubai, UAE.

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.