Bold move: Kawthar launched herself into the beauty business in 2002 with the opening of the Beauty Connection Spa, thriving in the female-dominated industry. “I opened Beauty Connection Spa solely for the purpose of working in a field where women are empowered,” she says. “I wanted to challenge the idea that women cannot compete in the business world.” Since then her empire has grown to include 12 beauty subsidiaries across the GCC, 300 employees, 3,000 products, 100 brands, and even her own nail polish line, KOKO – the first Halal-certified lacquer in the region.

Work ethic: Beauty Connection Spa under Kawthar’s reign has excelled on both the local and international stage, ranked as the biggest day spa in the world and setting a Guinness World Record for the most nails filed and varnished in eight hours. It’s accolades like these that fuel her passion. “With these achievements, we have proved and will continue to prove that every one of us, regardless of gender, can do whatever it takes to be successful in pursuing our dreams.”

Future goals: With a 95 percent female workforce from underprivileged socio-economic backgrounds, Kawthar hopes to continue changing the lives of her employees through education and empowerment. “My workforce are widows, single mothers, orphans, women with special needs and uneducated females that we have recruited from all over the world, trained, employed and mentored. Seeing them becoming more independent and successful in their lives prove to me that anyone is capable of doing anything. They are real soldiers.”

Be inspired: “At BCI, we want to inspire woman to achieve their passions and dreams, no matter how big. We need to teach them that there is no reason not to. My core purpose is to have gender equality, female education and female empowerment.”