Huda Janahi Global Cargo
A True Ambassador of Entrepreneurship
Fifteen years ago, Huda Janahi started her business, Global Cargo and Traveller Services, with start-up capital of 1,000 Bahraini Dinars (around US$2,600 at today’s exchange rate). She ran the business single-handedly from an office in a small rented space in Muharraq, Bahrain’s third largest city.
For the first year, all progress was blocked because her application for a commercial registration was rejected by the Ministry of Commerce. She was told that women could not receive a commercial registration to operate in the cargo industry. Undaunted, Janahi refused to accept no for an answer and she joined the UNIDO AICEI Enterprise Development & Investment Promotion program in Bahrain. In 2001, after graduating from the UNIDO entrepreneurship development programme, she applied again for registration and, with UNIDO’s support, her application was finally accepted.
Within a few years, Janahi built up her company into a huge successful enterprise and, in 2008, she signed a merger worth US$3m with the Kuwaiti cargo company, Global Logistic Company, which serves the whole Middle East region. Currently she owns 8 businesses in services, retail, media and manufacturing employing 85 staff and her net worth is estimated at $25 million USD.
Today, Janahi is an award-winning businesswoman, one of the most influential women in the Arab world according to Forbes magazine, and is hailed as a role model for budding female entrepreneurs across the Persian Gulf region.
Mrs. Janahi, has received numerous awards and recognitions; namely;
- In April 2005, under the patronage of HE Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai, she was awarded the Mohammad bin Rashid Award for Young Business Leaders for the ”Best Arab Start-up Business in the Arab World for the Year 2005”
- In February 2006, under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II Bin Al Hussein of Jordan and Her Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, President of the Bahrain Supreme Council for Women; she was awarded “Investor of the Year Award in the Category of Young Innovative Entrepreneur for the Year 2006” during the MENA Ministerial Meeting held at the Dead Sea, Jordan.
- In March 2008, she was awarded “The GCC Young Entrepreneur Award for the Year 2008” at the Women in Business Conference held in Oman.
- In May 2008 during the World Economic Forum held at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, the President of the United States, during his official address, recognized Mrs. Huda as an “inspiring example for the whole region”.
- In 2008, She was named as one of the 50 Most Powerful Businesswomen in the Arab World by Forbes Magazine.
- In July 2008, was named the First “Leader Entrepreneur Award” by HE Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, Director General of UNIDO during the UNIDO General Conference.
- In 2011 she was titled by UNIDO as an “Entrepreneurs Ambassador” for her active role in social entrepreneurship role through promoting women economic empowerment.
- In 2013, and as part of the G8 Summit held in UK she was awarded a “Certificate of Appreciation as a Woman of Achievement” by the G8 UK Presidency for the Deauville Partnership.
Mrs. Janahi, was invited by UNIDO as a speaker in the 5th Ministerial Conference of the Least Developed Countries in the Session “Converting commodities into products: the role of women in LDCs”; held in Lima, Peru from 30 November – 1 December 2013. Most recently in May 2015; she was one of three Bahraini Women Entrepreneurs to receive the Indira Gandhi “Priyadarshani Award 2015″; for her contribution to women economic empowerment.