Country: Saudi Arabia
Huda Hashmi is a keen advocate of women empowerment and inclusion in the private and not-for-profit sectors. She started her career by establishing an image consultancy to upskill women in the workplace and improve their communication skills and presence resulting in improved customer service capabilities of the businesses she served. She is also an avid supporter of women entrepreneurs and innovators in the region.
She currently works for Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA). Huda established and led the Innovation Unit in DGDA where she devised the unit’s strategy and processes that brought in the entrepreneurial mindset in the organization. She further worked on the strategy for Diriyah’s key cultural assets. Moreover, she focused on the entrepreneurship stream to foster the social and cultural development of the Diriyah community. She was also instrumental in bringing key investments and developed multiple partnerships with local and global organizations.
Prior to joining Diriyah Gate Development Authority, Huda launched two startups focusing on customer feedback and enhancing customers’ experiences. She was the co-founder and Managing Director of ‘Customer Arabia’, a platform that caters specifically to improve customer experience followed by her own Business Image Consultancy firm (éclat) that provided training to multiple successful firms. Huda also worked as a freelance consultant helping several start-ups in Silicon Valley to launch their products and marketing campaigns. In addition, Huda was part of the King Abdullah University of Science and technology’s (KAUST) most prestigious program for entrepreneurs, ‘Venture Accelerator Program’ and was among the top 6 winners of the program. Huda Hashmi studied Entrepreneurship at Stanford University and is also a certified Business Analyst from University of California, Berkeley. She is currently pursuing her MBA at Babson College.
Huda is the chapter chair of Women Presidents’ Organization in Saudi Arabia. Her passion for helping entrepreneurs led her to join WPO. Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) a non-profit membership organization for successful women entrepreneurs headquartered in New York City with over 141 chapters around the world. Huda was hired as a chapter chair for WPO Saudi Arabia, to establish the first WPO chapter in the Middle East.
In addition, Huda serves as an advisory board member at Saphira Group Advisory limited based out of UK, where her role is to proactively assist Saphira in opportunities that are relevant for the KSA market and work with them to find potential investors and Joint Venture partners in the Middle East.