BIOGRAPHY

Huda Janahi's meteoric rise from a stay-at-home mother to a successful award-winning businesswoman is a remarkable example of true grit and determination.

sixteen years ago, Huda Janahi started her journey from homemaker to a successful businesswoman with Global Cargo and Traveller Services that was started with a capital of 1,000 Bahraini Dinars. She ran the business single-handedly from an office in a small rented space in Muharraq, Bahrain’s third largest city. For the first year, all progress was blocked because her application for a commercial registration was rejected by the Ministry of Commerce. She was told that women could not receive a commercial registration to operate in the cargo industry. Undaunted, Janahi refused to accept no for an answer and she joined the UNIDO AICEI Enterprise Development & Investment Promotion program in Bahrain. In 2001, after graduating from the UNIDO entrepreneurship development programme, she applied again for registration and, with UNIDO’s support, her application was finally accepted. Within a few years, Janahi built up her company into a huge successful enterprise and, in 2008, she signed a merger worth US$3m with the Kuwaiti cargo company, Global Logistic Company, which serves the whole Middle East region.

Today she owns 8 businesses in services, retail, media and manufacturing employing 85 staff and her net worth is estimated at $25 million USD.

The secret of her success she says is her husband's, Fawzi Tolefat, unfailing support, her father's insistence since Mrs Janahi was a teenager for his daughter to enter the workforce which inevitably became ingrained in her and her thirst for knowledge, self-development and her ambition to reach the top. Mrs Janahi has won many accolades in her journey to success namely 'Shaikh Muhammad bin Rashid Al Makhtoum Award for the Young Business Leaders in Best Start-up Business in 2005', 'Investor of the Year Award 2005' presented by Jordan's Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). She was also ranked 46th by Forbes business magazine in its list of the 50 most powerful Arab women. Huda Janahi is also a model example of a success story for the UN entrepreneur programme in the Arab world. Huda Janahi's name is synonymous with success. She is a volunteer at Shaikha Hessa's 'Injaz' programme where she teaches young Bahraini girls the potential of empowerment and how to become entrepreneurs. Three women in her family have already started their own enterprises with Mrs Janahi's encouragement. Whenever there is a women's conference Mrs Janahi doesn't hesitate to vocalise her success story to empower women to enter into the business arena and into the man's world. Her message to women who want to start their own venture: "Never stop trying because there is always light at the end of a tunnel. Take on challenges head on and you will be able to overcome them but if you are weak then you won't be able to achieve anything."