Hamid and Saeid Mohammadi [Founders, Digikala]

In 2006, twin brothers Hamid and Said Mohammadi founded Digikala to transform how Iranians shop for consumer electronics and other goods. Before Digikala, transparency, refunds, and reviews were foreign to most shoppers. Items such as mobile phones, bought from vendors in the bazaar, came with an unofficial buyer beware label and neither customer service nor returns were offered. In contrast, Digikala allows users to compare products, images, features, and reviews and make returns when making purchases. Today, Digikala is the largest ecommerce startup in Iran and the Middle East. The company was reported to be valued at $500 million in late 2015, and 85% of Iran’s ecommerce now takes place on Digikala.

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Amani El Tunsi [Founder, Banat wa Bas]

Frustrated by the Egyptian media’s portrayal of women as second-class citizens, Amani El Tunsi established the media platform Banat wa Bas in 2008 to challenge prevailing attitudes toward women. The media platform, which includes a website, radio station,  rehabilitation center, publishing house, and professional training program, empowers women by providing them with the knowledge and resources they need to succeed. El Tunsi’s radio station, “Girls Only,” provides a safe space in which women can discuss and navigate everyday challenges and silenced topics such as sexual harassment. Her work has spread beyond Egypt to other Arab nations including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria.

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Hanzade Dogan Boyner [Founder, Hepsiburada]

Hanzade Doğan Boyner is a Turkish businesswoman, serial entrepreneur, and philanthropist. In 1998, she founded the online retailer Hepsiburada.com, which offers over 2 million products in more than 30 categories, ranging from fashion to electronics, cosmetics to books, and home appliances to furniture. With more than 5,000 suppliers, selling over 2,000,000 products a month, Hepsiburada.com has become Turkey’s Amazon. Boyner has been voted the “Most Successful Woman in Business” in Turkey on several occasions by various Turkish universities.

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