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Meet the Women

Mona

Cairo, Egypt

Profession
Publishing
Business
True Vine Publishing House
Country
Egypt
partner school
American University in Cairo
With perseverance and hard work one can always reach higher goals. And with success, one should never forget to contribute to the development of his society.

Business Overview

I am the owner and director of the True Vine Publishing House. I established my business in 2008. We publish, translate and distribute books in many self/family development areas including personal matters, ethics, growth, parenting, family and marriage counseling as well as children's and teen books.

My goal is to reach a wide range of people, especially women, and provide knowledge and information through publishing books which help people live in harmony knowing their obligations and rights.

Challenges

Before the program, my business management and leadership skills were very limited. I needed to learn how to be a leader at my company and to effectively manage the operations of my business.

Before the program, I faced obstacles in marketing as I did not have a clear marketing strategy.

I had a limited number of clients only in Egypt and I needed to increase both client base and markets.

I was also having problems concerning the financial and accounting operations of my business.

I registered my expenses and revenues in a simple excel sheet and data was many times not accurate enough. Also, I had experienced many challenges in human resource management, in terms of interviewing skills and being unable to deal professionally with employees. This limited my ability to develop and grow my business as I could not recruit the best candidates for the job.

Results

Through the program, I learned in five weeks what I would have learned in ten years by trial and error. After joining the program, I worked heavily on improving my marketing tools. Thus, I created a website for the company www.darelkarma.com. I also started publishing newsletters, posters, and conducted telemarketing about the company.

Before the program I had only few clients inside Egypt. After 10,000 Women, I enlarged my target market by expanding in Egypt as well as entering the US market. Related to this, I doubled the company's work space and increased the number of employees. Before the program I only had two employees. Now I have four full time and three part time employees. My revenues have increased more than 15%. With my increasing expansion, I plan to hire more employees and purchase more printing equipment.

Moreover, I was able to develop a strong bookkeeping system rather than using a simple and unreliable excel sheet. This helped tremendously in monitoring my revenues and expenses.

Because of these improvements, production has increased substantially. Before participating in 10,000 Women, I had produced only one book. After the program, I planned on printing 15 books but I ended up printing and publishing a total number of 40 books (in the Arabic and English Languages), out of which seven books were reprinted and another 10 are in the pipeline to be printed.

Another achievement I am proud of is that I used the communication and networking skills I learned at the program to get a translation and printing job from the Bishop of the Coptic Church in the U.S. I have also received several printing jobs through networking with other women in my 10,000 Women class.

Also, using the negotiation skills I learned at the program, I established partnerships with US and UK publishers (such as the Harvard publishing house). I have also engaged in public and private book exhibits such as "Cairo International Book Fair" and "Frankfurt International Book Fair".

Future Goals 

I am planning to expand my business by having more international partners, in order to have wider access to foreign markets.

I also want to have my own book store where the books I publish are sold and distributed.