Salsabila Al Harby didn’t start out as an entrepreneur. She began her career as a dental nurse and swiftly rose through the ranks, becoming a dental trainer before transferring to an HR role for the largest dental facility in the Middle East.
But it was when Salsabila started selling Forever Living Products, a range of natural aloe-based products sold by sales agents around the world, that she developed a real taste for business. “My family and friends thought I was crazy,” she recalls. “But I decided to make it happen, so I started to make new connections and build a network—and after months of hard work I started to get results.”
Paying it forward
Salsabila built up her Forever Living Products business while working as a senior manager in the oil industry—but it wasn’t plain sailing. “Challenges are inevitable and they vary at each stage of the business,” she explains. “At first, my major challenge was dealing with rejection, then as my team grew I had to deal with attrition and motivating people.” Nevertheless, Salsabila overcame setbacks with help from a network of mentors and business sponsors. “They were amazing,” she recalls. “They gave me great advice and supported me—I learned that self-development is the best way to overcome obstacles and stay motivated.”
Having experienced the challenges of female entrepreneurship, Salsabila was determined to help other women like her make their business aspirations a reality. This was when Women’s Entrepreneurial Network Arabia (WENA) was born.
Starting as a Facebook group, WENA is a network offering support and coaching to Saudi women in business. Members can benefit from the knowledge and experience of Salsabila and other female entrepreneurs, mastering business skills such as communication, networking, assertiveness training and leadership. WENA also acts as a showcase for growing businesses, giving women a platform from which to share news about their business and promote specific products and services.
“We simply wouldn’t exist without Facebook and Instagram,” Salsabila explains. “Without connection, there is no business. It’s where I learned, grew, shared, received feedback and met people all over the world—and that’s helped me access knowledge and business tools that were once out of reach.”
Salsabila has continued to empower and inspire in other ways, too, now acting as a public and motivational speaker in her own right. She was recently invited to deliver a TEDx talk and hopes to deliver more. She remains passionate about raising awareness among women about what they can achieve by sharing their gifts and working towards realizing their dreams.
“It all boils down to how much you want the change. Passion keeps you going, no matter what.”
Learn more about Salsabila and WENA: