Bold move: Joining a patriarchal family business as a female was not without it’s challenges for Mariam – but it seems there was no better woman to take the reigns of her family’s retail and F&B empire. “In a family business historically run by men with strong opinions, it was sometimes a challenge to find my voice and speak my mind. Luckily for me, my father has taught all his children to stand up for what they believe in even if it ruffles a few feathers.” In fact, Mariam credits her father with her business capabilities. “My father is my biggest inspiration. He is a self-made man who has taught me that any dream is attainable as long as you work hard enough and dedicate yourself to the goal. I am lucky to have him in my life – he is truly my hero.”

Work ethic: Not content to just slot into the family business without the business nous behind her, finance graduate Mariam worked in the banking industry for seven years. She then completed a Masters in International Marketing from King’s College, London- tapping into her passion for fashion retail. “Once I graduated and began my banking career, I was able to gain valuable experience which I knew would one day help me when I joined the family business. My next goal was to lay a stronger foundation for the move into fashion and so I decided to pursue a Masters with an emphasis on retail and branding,” she says.

Future goals: Mariam has big plans to steer Dual Investments onto global territories. “My ultimate goal is to turn Dual Investments from a regional retailer in a diversified global powerhouse. The only way to achieve this is through hard work and dedication, and obviously some smart manoeuvring, given today’s global economic climate.”

Be inspired: “I want to show not only young women, but all the youth of the country and region that hard work and dedication do pay off. I believe that the region’s most valuable resource is its youth and we have to encourage their entrepreneurial spirit whenever we can.”