Note: This course was created by al empire. We are pleased to host this training in our library.
Skill Level Beginner
- [Instructor] This is an audio course. No need to watch - just listen. Welcome to the latest addition to LinkedIn Learning: podcasts. We've curated some of the best business podcasts and made them even easier to listen to. Each episode is split into sections. Use the links in the Contents area to skip to whichever section you like. We're always looking for new ways to help you learn, and we appreciate your feedback. Thanks for listening. (upbeat music) - [Woman 1] It went viral. It was everywhere. - [Woman 2] It's very, very foreign to Arab cultures to think about personal things publicly. - [Man 1] Five years before that, I was under the bombs of Beirut. - [Man 2] I didn't go to therapy. I think I should have. - [Dana] This is Al Empire, stories of exceptional Arabs around the world, and their journey to the top. Hi, this is Dana Balut. - [Heba] And I'm Heba Fisher, and this is Al Empire. Today: - [Joy] I think the number was, like, 2.7% of all women have ever been able to raise money from venture capitalists, and I've done it twice. - [Heba] It's actually even less than that. 2.2% of all women have ever raised investment for their companies from venture capitalists, let alone an Arab woman raising investment like Joy has - twice. - [Joy] So I'm Joy Ajlouny. I'm one of the founders of Fetchr, and I am a CMO at Fetchr. - [Heba] CMO means chief marketing officer, and Fetchr is a Dubai-based delivery logistics company that raised 53 million dollars. It's Joy's third company. Previously, she founded an e-commerce fashion company called Bonfaire that got acquired by Moda Operandi, and before that she had a chain of fashion stores called Joy's. So I called Joy one evening. She had just come back home after the workday. And we started by talking about her childhood. - [Joy] I was born in New York, actually, born and raised in New York - spent my childhood there. So it gave me that New York city edge (laughs) that everybody talks about when they know that you're from New York. My childhood was basically, you know, the typical one, which is, you know, super conservative Palestinian family. I kind of have the interesting mix of being, you know, very American and patriotic, and then the other side, which is very Palestinian and very true to my Palestinian roots. So I kind of always tell everybody, my brain and my personality is American, but my spirit and my soul and my heart is Palestinian. - [Heba] What did your parents do? - [Joy] My dad's an engineer by trade, went to the University of Kentucky, but he's a real estate developer. And my mom went to French boarding schools in Jerusalem. She came from a very aristocratic family and was a refugee, so she married my dad. He had an American passport, which was, you know, gold back then. So he came in and he's like, I got a passport. And my mother was like, okay, well, I'm a refugee - I'm in. And they came to the United States. So my mom has two years college, which is kind of rare because my parents are 85 years old. I come from a family that's pretty educated. Both my brothers are super educated. My brother went to med school and law school and the other one is an engineer and a lawyer. So we grew up very serious. You know, we talked about politics. I remember growing up with the newspaper. Like, you know, my family's pretty quiet. All of them are quiet and conservative and I'm the boisterous, talkative one. And we would sit around the table and our assignment would be to read an article, and then we would sit around and discuss what we read. And the topics were always politics and business. So I grew up in a family that really put a lot of pressure on education and, you know, being true to being Palestinian, right? So we were always about what was right and what was wrong and a moral compass of, you know, do the right thing in life and the right thing will come back to you. So conservative with a very serious moral compass. - [Heba] And what kind of child were you? So if your mom had to describe you at the age of twelve, what would she say about you? - [Joy] Extremely, extremely a rule breaker. Didn't follow the norm, always asked why. You know, most people were like, just do as you're told, and I never had the personality as do as you're told. I've always been a disruptor. You know, my mom would try to potty train me and they'd put me on the potty for hours and they'd be like, you know, you have to, you know, potty, and I'm like, nope. And then they'd find me outside, literally under a tree, going to the bathroom, pulling my pants down under a tree, and they just - I mean, forget pooping in your pants, but pooping outside on trees. So my mom was always like, this child is, you know, not the norm. - [Heba] I love that. What did you want to be when you grew up, Joy? And how did that manifest? Did you always want to be your own boss and be an entrepreneur? - [Joy] You know, I wanted to be married with twenty kids. I wanted to fulfill my parents' dream of finding the right guy and fulfilling their expectations. I think that was really kind of the pressure. I mean, my whole life was like, Oh my God, I got to get married. I got to get married. It definitely took its toll on me for sure. And it was something that was expected. And I felt the pressure of that, but that was my whole goal. My whole goal was to get married and have a family, and you know, the pressures of every Arab girl, which is the success story, is get married and, you know find a nice, educated guy. And I remember the funny stories when I was growing up. They're like, you need to find yourself a Palestinian Christian guy. And then, you know, I turned a certain age and they're like, you know, he doesn't have to be Palestinian. He could be Lebanese, but as long as he's Christian, right? Then they would switch it to, you know what? There are a lot of nice Muslim people out there. As long as he's Arab, that's the most important thing. And then, you know, they'd switch it to, you know, there are a lot of nice American boys out there. So my parents were always pushing to get me married, and that was their dream: to find an educated guy and for someone to take care of me. That was kind of indoctrinated in my brain.