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Throughout the Founder Institute's storied 15 years in existence, we've been proud to be supported by our local leaders who work tirelessly to turn talented individuals around the world into top entrepreneurs. However, one of our local leaders has been with us since the very beginning, and has continuously proven her dedication to the Founder Institute's credo that "Great Companies Start with Great People".

That Director is Dr. Hanan El Basha

Getting to know Dr. Hanan better

Dr. Hanan El Basha is the local director of Founder Institute GCC, and as such, she has been instrumental in growing FI's product, curriculum, and local programs.

When describing herself, Hanan shows passion and honesty. She wants to inspire and help other startup founders, believing in being true to herself and open with others. This helps her connect with people and encourage them to achieve their best.

“I am a passionate person with the drive to live life to the fullest and realize my potential serving people. I thrive on being authentic and sharing my vulnerability so others realize they are not alone in whatever they are going through. I am told that I am an empowering person by nature, and I have spent a lot of time deepening my knowledge on mindset and how to support people in empowering themselves,” Hanan shares.

How Did Dr.Hanan Transform Early Career Uncertainty and Doubts into Expertise?

Like many entrepreneurs, Hanan faced self-doubt in her early career. She recalls challenging beginnings, uncertain directions, and the universal experience of questioning her path. Yet, her resilience, openness to new opportunities, and commitment to learning and positivity propelled her. Today, Hanan's journey of overcoming doubts has shaped her into a skilled expert and trusted advisor for new businesses.

She claims, “I wasn't clear on my intended direction at the start of my career, and I approached it with a lot of self-doubt, which made me miss out on opportunities for advancement and growth. That said, I was and remain open to experimenting with a new path and direction (now with more intention and clarity). This led me to what I am currently doing: supporting startups and SMEs in their ventures and, more specifically, their growth.”

When asked about her strategies for building expertise, she explains, “I studied, read, listened, and engaged with experienced professionals. My thirst for knowledge drove me to gain expertise in various areas. Additionally, I adopted a growth mindset, finding creative solutions to overcome obstacles and achieve my goals.”

To benefit from Dr. Hanan El Basha 's startup expertise, apply to the Founder Institute today!

What is Dr. Hanan’s opinion on the most challenging thing when working with startup founders?

In her work with founders, Hanan has encountered many challenges driven by mindset barriers and a lack of clarity. She encourages a positive and flexible way of thinking and helps entrepreneurs have a clear vision.

She says, “Founders must employ an adaptive growth mindset to realize their ventures. And most of them are unaware that they might be their biggest obstacle.”

Dr. Hanan's Key Advice for Entrepreneurs: Lessons from Years of Experience

For aspiring entrepreneurs, Hanan offers invaluable advice gleaned from years of experience. She stresses the need to be clear about who their customers are and what they're selling and to have a strong base before growing bigger:

“Empower yourself with a 'tribe' that supports your mission to change the world—be it one city or the entire globe. Entrepreneurship is a challenging and mostly lonely journey, and having a support system (be it one person or 50 people) is crucial for the success of both you and your venture. Lastly, network and build meaningful relationships by being authentic, genuine, and intentional about having win-win outcomes for everyone involved.”

She adds, “Build a solid foundation in your home (starting) market. Ensure that your business is solid internally before expanding horizontally or vertically. Make sure your SOP (standard operating procedures) are clear and well-defined. Confirm that your revenue streams will be able to cover your expansion efforts. And most importantly, make sure that everyone in your organization is clear on the venture's vision, mission, and growth intention so they are engaged and can support the efforts in whatever capacity they can.”

Key Advice for Entrepreneurs:

  • Understand your customers and offerings clearly.
  • Build a supportive network or "tribe" to navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship.
  • Prioritize building a solid foundation in your home market before expanding.
  • Ensure clarity in vision, mission, and growth intentions within your organization.

Learn more about Dr. Hanan el Basha on her LinkedIn page.


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The Founder Institute is the world's premier pre-seed accelerator, with chapters across 200+ cities and Graduate companies that have raised over $1.75BN in funding. The company's mission is to “Globalize Silicon Valley” and empower communities of talented and motivated people to build impactful technology-enabled companies worldwide.

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