Khdeija Sidi Boubacar
Durham University Business School
Hometown: Nouakchott, Mauritania
Fun Fact About Yourself: I taught myself English from scratch through watching movies and TV shows
Undergraduate School and Major / Degree programme: BSc in Economics from the University of Nouakchott
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your life so far: being the first Mauritanian woman awarded the Chevening Scholarship
Was Entrepreneurship always your career goal? No, initially I wanted to be a banker and completed an MSc in International Banking and Finance in France, then worked at the leading bank in my country. It was after three years of working at the banking sector that I realized I wanted to be an entrepreneur, and to make a career out of solving problems and filling market gaps.
What led you to pursue an MiM at this point in your personal development? I wanted to make a career change from banking into entrepreneurship, and knew that an MiM in the UK would be the perfect tool for me to gain the necessary knowledge and experience.
How did you decide if a MiM was worth the investment? Education is always worth investing in, but I was lucky though to receive a full scholarship from the FCO to complete my MiM
What other MiM programs did you apply to? How did you determine your fit at various schools? The only MiM I applied to was MSc Management (Entrepreneurship) at Durham Business School because I was certain it was the perfect fit for me. I also fell in love with the city of Durham itself.
Tell me about your venture: I have a start-up for business matchmaking which I like to describe as arranged marriages for companies. The goal is to bring together international and local companies and help them start long term partnerships
How has your business school experience helped you in creating and launching your business? One of the best things about Durham University Business School is how supportive and accessible its staff are. The time I spent there helped me to build my self-confidence, gain important business knowledge and tools, improve my networking skills and take the decision to create my own start-up upon leaving the UK (which I did a little over a month after returning home)
What activities/experiences have most benefitted you on your entrepreneurship journey during your time at business school? Networking events – particularly the international study tour we took to Geneva where we met past graduates who shared their insights and recommendations.
What quality best describes the MiM classmates you’ve met so far and why? Passionate. All my colleagues in the MSc Management (Entrepreneurship) had big dreams they were passionate about, they all knew what they wanted and believed they could achieve it. It is something I truly admired and found inspirational.
What is the biggest/most important lesson you have learned during your studies? It’s never too late to pursue a dream, and success is the result of good planning and choosing the right time
What are the next steps for you / your entrepreneurial venture? For me, I have taken on short term jobs working on development projects that help promote entrepreneurship among the youth in my country, and I would like to invest more time in similar activities. As for my start-up, I would like to access new markets.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Running my 2nd or 3rd entrepreneurial venture and travelling the world.
DON’T MISS: MEET THE MIM ENTREPRENEURS OF 2020