Opportunities & Challenges for Women Entrepreneurs
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24/06/2021 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Event Start Date:
24th June 2021
Event End Date:
24th June 2021
Event Venue:

Highlighting the challenges women face as entrepreneurs and various opportunities available to them, and how to overcome these challenges.


  • Tahreem Arshad (Founder & CEO, Sozie)
  • Raishma Islam (Founder & CEO, Raishma)
  • Abby Ghafoor (Founder & CEO, Arc Consulting)

Moderated by :

  • Zahra Shah (Co-Founder, Non-Executive Director & Investor at Seers)


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Tahreem is a retail industry expert with strong domain knowledge in retail technology and finance. Prior to founding Sozie, Tahreem launched the Saatchi Institute as a Director at M&C Saatchi in London, UK. She specialised in the retail industry at EY in Toronto where she led large globally dispersed and multi disciplinary teams as an Engagement Manager working with EY Canada’s Managing Partner.

Tahreem graduated with distinction from McGill University, is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds a MBA from London Business School. She is an avid reader of history.


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Born and raised in the UK, Raishma always knew she would become a fashion designer.

Learning her craft from her mother, by the age of 8 she was given her first sewing machine and hasn’t stopped creating since.

After pursuing a fashion degree at De Montfort University, Raishma worked under Elizabeth Emmanuel where she developed her talent and passion for couture design.

30 years later and Raishma is an award-winning Couturier. The collection has a global fan base which spans royalty, international pop stars and Hollywood actresses including Princess Beatrice, Little Mix and Goldie Hawn. Each year, the brand shows at Couture Fashion Week in Paris to wide acclaim.

As both designer and Creative Director of her own business, Raishma is fiercely connected to the product; from sketching each piece, to selecting every fabric through to approving product quality and holding personal relationships with all of her clients.

Passionate about making her vision accessible to all women, Raishma established her RTW collection 6 years ago. Just like the Couture line, the product focusses on beautifully cut occasion pieces which embody femininity and glamour.

The brand’s style signifiers are demonstrated through the use of luxe fabrications, flattering cuts and hand-sewn embroidery techniques. As a designer she is very at home with colour and pattern – injecting classic dress shapes with playfulness and personality though beading and embellishment.

Raishma takes inspiration from history, art and nature, with collections drawing on a wide variety of starting points; from the likes of William Morris and Monet, all the way through to coral and Japanese florals.

Today the brand has a boutique store in Marylebone as well as operating online and across a number of wholesale partners including Harvey Nichols in the UK and Ounass in the Middle East.


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Abby Ghafoor is the founder and CEO of Arc management consulting, specialising in digital marketing by applying a scientific approach to achieve growth, develop strategy and increase market share, her clients are luxury brands and global businesses across all sectors. Abby worked in the corporate world as a leading Marketing Consultant for Hibu for 17 years where she was awarded the national gold award for delivery sustainable results for the business. She has been featured in publications and has been listed as women leaders in the City by Brummell Magazine. She is an Ambassador of the London Chambers of Commerce and Industry and a committee member of Asian Business Association (ABA); A fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a Fellow at the Institute of Consulting and Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and has been the Secretary of Hackney Women’s charity committee since 1988 developing programmes for the BAME community. She has launched a corporate events company ‘Refine’, Founding member of the Luxury Property Forum. She is the Ambassador and committee member of Path to Success Charity and Ambassador of Tie London.


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Zahra is the Co-Founder, Non-Executive Director & Investor at Seers – Leading privacy and consent management platform for companies globally. She has a background in Management Consultancy with over a decade of experience at Accenture within the Financial Services – Capital Markets practice area. She helped global Investment Banking clients (e.g., Credit Suisse, UBS, HSBC, RBS & Lloyds Banking Group) on high impact, strategic projects to achieve compliance with various regulatory requirements (e.g., KYC, AML, Basel 3, MiFID & Cross Border Sanctions) through the application of cutting-edge RegTech solutions. She has an MSc. in Analysis, Design & Management of Information Systems (ADMIS) from the London School of Economics (LSE) and an MBA (Essentials Certification) also from the LSE. She is a Board Director/ Trustee of a leading BAME non-profit in the UK: British Pakistan Foundation (BPF). She led the BPF as the CEO for a period of 3 years from May 2016 until June 2019 and grew it to over 21,000 members across the UK to deliver 300 events/ initiatives across 11 regions in the UK under 9 professional forums and 3 key programmes. She is a Board Advisor to Teamup Angels, Co-Chair for TIE Women London Chapter and President of OPEN London Chapter. Zahra is also an alumnus of the prestigious Google: Female Founders Program 2020 (she was selected as 1 of 12 Female Founders of innovative technology ventures from across Europe). She leads a monthly female founders support group initiative across Europe as an alumnus of the Google program.

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