IBC Talks are shorter, TED-style presentations during IBC that will feature emerging industry leaders.
These talks will showcase speakers of a diverse range of careers and backgrounds who inspire and positively impact the changing global business landscape.
Iman Oubou is a Moroccan American self-made entrepreneur, former beauty queen (Miss New York US 2015 and 2nd Runner Up at the 2015 Miss United States pageant) and a published scientist, on a mission to change the women's media landscape. Since receiving her BS Degree in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology from Colorado State University, and a Masters Degree in Biomedical Engineering, from the University of Colorado at Denver, Iman has been using her public image and passion for science to improve lives around the globe. She has accompanied “Mission To Heal” on medical operations in South Sudan, Nigeria, Ecuador, and organized a relief assignment in her native Morocco in 2014, where she worked with local hospitals in the Souss region. Iman continues to be a spokesperson and coordinator traveling to developing countries to help restore proper healthcare.
“I have been pursuing my career in the biomedical field and it has been a successful one,” says Iman, who has pivoted into women’s media after discovering undeniable white space. “I saw an opportunity to create an empowering platform of what a female-focused media brand should embody: intellect, influence and femininity. Think: Forbes meets Vogue.”
Iman’s move to New York City further ignited her entrepreneurial spirit. After a brief foray into the beauty industry, Iman witnessed first-hand the difficulties women in business face, and was inspired to launch her podcast, Entrepreneurs En Vogue. The broadcast, which would later blossom into her robust media platform, SWAAY, highlights the career paths of successful female entrepreneurs to inspire others to turn their dreams into reality. The podcast, which was syndicated by media conglomerate, Westwood One, would go on to become number 2 on iTunes in 2015, and was ranked in the top 5 best podcasts for women entrepreneurs by Inc. Magazine.
Through her diverse experience with business, pageantry and STEM, Iman continued to notice gender disparities in the workforce and an omnipresent bias across printed and digital media. She founded SWAAY, a digital platform for women thought leaders changing the status-quo, in 2016, to champion the voices of female changemakers through substantive, non-clickbaitcontent.
Iman’s ultimate goal, which she works tirelessly to accomplish each day, is centered on creating parity for a new generation of disrupters. “I would like to build a community for us women to empower each other and insist on each other’s success,” says Iman. “I hope to encourage young women to think as entrepreneurs and show them that women are leaders, creators and mentors.”
Garnering the attention of venture capitalists and media alike, Iman was named CIO’s number one “Female Entrepreneur to Watch” in 2018 and during the focal pitch contest at the Million Dollar Women Summit, Iman beat fierce competition to gain the top investment prize.
Most recently, Iman was named the first ever “Face of Morocco” or “Visage Du Maroc” of 2018, a new initiative which uplifts female voices in Morocco and across the Middle East. In this role, Iman will not only represent women from the region, but she will also be a powerful voice on the forefront of changing the representation of females in media, both here and abroad.
Navigating the field of media and entrepreneurship, Iman can attest to the female experience of starting a business, gender bias in fundraising, women in STEM, startup culture, the digital media industry, and achieving the modern American dream. She can also share her experience in science and her devotion to philanthropic medical missions.
“Beauty can change the way women feel about themselves. I believe a woman who is confident can take over the world.”
For Huda Kattan, everything begins with heart. That’s the philosophy that’s led her to turn what started as a simple love affair with makeup into one of the fastest-growing beauty brands in the world.
But from the outset, Kattan had a passion to empower women. She knew she was onto something big - something that would arguably change the world of beauty forever. For her, this meant going against the norms of her culture and family traditions and being a pioneer amongst Middle Eastern women in beauty. Today, Kattan is one of the most internationally recognized makeup gurus and content-creators. Guided by her expertise and eye-for-detail, Huda Beauty is not only a record-breaking brand, but is now valued at over $1 billion dollars.
With her background as a Hollywood-trained makeup artist who had already worked with celebrities like Eva Longoria, Nicole Richie, and the Royal Family, Kattan decided to launch her YouTube channel and blog in 2010. Although it began with only a couple dozen views a day, Kattan knew that by continuing to equip women with the right tools, her following would grow organically. And it did. She is currently ranked the 61st most followed person on Instagram, with over 27million followers.
As a makeup artist, Kattan would regularly customize her own false lashes. Frustrated that she could never find the style she wanted, she decided to build something to bridge the gap in the market. Kattan turned out to be a natural entrepreneur, co-founding Huda Beauty in February 2013 with her sisters Mona and Alya Kattan. Her first collection of hand-designed false eyelashes launched at Sephora and was an overnight success. The phenomenon changed the lash market on a global level. Seeing the success and ecstatic reception of her lashes, she decided to foray into an even more intimidating market: makeup. Her sophomore effort was her highly-coveted Lip Contours. Its debut at Sephora in the Dubai Mall (the largest in the world) catapulted the brand to global record-breaking heights. With line-ups of people out the door, it proved to be a knock-out first day, selling out completely within four hours.
Kattan continues to create groundbreaking products with cult-like followings. Huda’s product line now includes foundation, liquid lipsticks, lip contouring pencils, 3D Highlighter Palettes and textured eyeshadow palettes, all of which have been instant best-sellers across the globe. By constantly creating new content and supporting other artists in the process, her international presence continues to rise. Today, her products are found in some of the world’s leading retailers, including Sephora, Harrod’s, Selfridges, Brown Thomas, Arnotts, Cultbeauty.co.uk, Net-a-Porter and Feel Unique. Born and raised in the United States, Kattan currently resides in Dubai where she continues to reinvent her beauty empire.
Kattan is leading by example. She’s not only a boss but showing the world what it means to be a #BEAUTYBOSS. And this is just the beginning.