What it means to be a woman entrepreneur in Cyprus

By Mirela Sula

 Cyprus is a small and beautiful island country, which is facing many challenges in its economy. However, women seem to keep alive the energy of this place, their enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit is the hope of the future generations. We have asked seven amazing women who are running their business in Cyprus who share their challenges and successes of being a woman on a mission. 

Viola Edward

“Inspiring you to live colourful new possibilities”

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A loving relationship brought me to Cyprus in 2003, my Latino/Middle Eastern background helping me to settle in. I observed and absorbed the local rhythm just being myself, a networking woman. I understood the power of my feminine energy as capital and used this to establish my place. Patience and passion were required to expand clientele and to change existing culture towards Psychotherapy, Coaching and Breathwork in an environment where paying for therapy support would be regarded as a sign of illness. My programme is designed to help powerful achieving women in breaking free from restraints that prevent them from fully enjoying success and wealth. The programme also includes men who are committed to breaking free of cultural judgements that prevent them from fully enjoying the company of women as peers. My book, ‘Breathing the Rhythm of Success’, published in 1999, served as an excellent, powerful calling card. As a newcomer, I required local services, a dentist, doctor, accountant, hairdresser, lawyer etc. These friendly professional contacts, after using my services themselves, soon began to send me referrals and my network continued to grow solidly. Two major actions followed, studying a Masters Degree locally in Positive Psychotherapy connected me with like-minded colleagues, and a training in ‘colour, style and image’, enabled me to offer a holistic service to my clients, working both with inner feelings and outer appearances. Cyprus has been divided since 1974, with much pain and loss on both sides. The separated populations of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots have physical and family hierarchy similarities but separate languages and religions. I work on both sides, using English, Spanish and Arabic. The Island has a very convenient central location and fantastic weather to welcome my clients from abroad. www.violaedward.com

Penelope Magoulianti

 “We can have it all”

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Living in a small country like Cyprus and coming from an even smaller village, it wasn’t “normal” or “traditional” to follow your dreams, pursuing a career and staying single up until the age of 33! I did all that and much more when I decided that the corporate world didn’t fulfil me, instead it was making me sick. I left to follow my passion in writing and speaking and started creating success based on my own terms. My passion is helping women to step up, to believe in themselves, go forward with their dreams and ambitions and excel in any area they choose to do so. This led me to write my first book. ‘Women, Motherhood & Independence’ on the subject of balancing life and work. Also to becoming one of the co-founders of YinAlithea Cyprus Women’s Conference and creating various online products, all with the aim of helping women to find their own work life balance and to begin enjoying life more. As a mother of two young children, I know first-hand how challenging and overwhelming it is to do everything, be there for everyone and at the same time devote time for us and the things that we enjoying doing. I strongly believe that each one of us has a unique talent, a gift, and each one of us is special. What we need to understand is that we don’t need permission, and we don’t have to sacrifice our dreams in order to have people love and respect us more. We can have it all. www.thelife-youdesire.com www.penelopemagoulianiti.com

Anna Cortesi

“Educating on the science of food and nutrition with fun”

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I am a registered Dietician and Clinical Nutritionist, helping people who seek advice about a healthy diet, nutritional problems and diseases. I am able to explain complex ideas about the science of nutrition in a simplified manner, allowing my patients the ability to make informed and educated decisions about their well-being. Responsibilities include educating patients and the general public on the science of food and nutrition, working with their dietary needs, evaluating and improving treatments given. Doing this kind of business in Cyprus can be really motivating because most of the people follow a well-structured Mediterranean type of diet, but it can also be challenging as many people have a hard time trusting experts. With all new theories and fad diets coming out and capturing people’s attention, it’s difficult for dieticians to keep their patients interested in the healthier and proven diets they have taught about and recommended. Generally people want to see results instantly. Whereas dieticians know that this can be detrimental to one’s health, although the results may be instantaneous, they will not last. Although being a nutritionist, you preach and teach the best way to be healthy, what to eat and what to drink, it all varies for each person and may not work as well on one as it does for another, until the root of the problem has been found. Allergies, hormones, pregnancy, and stress, all affect the outcome. Sometimes it’s one step forward and two steps back with the patients that deviate from their plans. Whether it is a loss of willpower or determination to achieve their goals, it often happens that they disregard their eating plans. In this case, I do my best to either find another plan that best suits my patient’s lifestyle and needs, or find ways to motivate them further. www.annacortesi.com

 

Hatice Ozalp

A pharmacist dancing with life in harmony

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The first step of my business journey set off by opening a pharmacy in my village. I had a good chance to improve my ability in terms of knowledge and communication with people in a business manner. After four years, I decided that life was calling me from my village to somewhere else and I moved with my pharmacy business and with my inspiring people around me to a lovely city called Kyrenia. I am a person who dances with life in a harmony as it always takes me where I feel its taste and joy. I never planned that I would have two pharmacies, an organic shop, an import and distribution company, and a family with two children. If you work with the universe the good things come to you by themselves. When I began to work in my pharmacy, I liked to help people when they need it. However, I always felt that there was something missing. I had a feeling that I was late to help people. My mission is to touch people’s life before they get ill. This inspires me to look for more about a healthy lifestyle, such as organics and alternative therapies (homeopathy, Bach flowers courses). The business I run now is quite new for Cyprus. We try to find people’s needs and help them to find the right contacts. Being a businesswoman in Cyprus, there are always pros and cons, like everywhere it depends on what perception that takes. I love doing business in Cyprus as it is a small country and when you do good things it spreads all around the island pretty quickly. www.aydineczane.com  

Eylem Şakir

“To me the word ‘philanthropy’ has great importance”

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As a young child and woman, I decided to study law because the injustices in the world bothered me, and I felt like I needed to take a role in this society where women often lack the belief to be the best of what they could be. After working in Europe, in the south part of Cyprus and also in one of the leading law firms in the northern part of Cyprus, I decided to establish my own law firm. Eylem Şakir and Associates Law Firm is based in Kyrenia and also has a branch in Iskele, with a capacity to operate in other countries through a network of associates worldwide, providing prompt, high quality, multilingual, tailor made services to its clients in an efficient and business minded manner, with a detailed understanding of national and international law with its experienced legal team. Cyprus, also known as the island of Aphrodite, is a magical place where people find serenity and happiness. Cyprus’ location made it, and still makes it, a very attractive place for business people and entrepreneurs. The island has suffered from disagreements yet it still holds a spark in the business environment. I am thrilled to see the high number of successful women in Cyprus. While all businesswomen have their own stories and motives, to me the word ‘philanthropy’ has great importance. This powerful word means “the love of humanity, in the sense of caring, nourishing, developing, and enhancing what it means to be human”. In business and in the legal system, I believe that we need to get into the root of the issues and that it is essential to resolve conflict with the love of humanity and understanding. www.eylemsakir.com / www.esalawfirm.com

 

Pavlina Papalouka

“You must lead by example and inspire”

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I never realised that there was something different in me being an entrepreneur in relation to a man entrepreneur in Cyprus, because my parents never told me ‘you can’t do this because you are a not a man’. They gave me the best education and tools to succeed, like most parents in Cyprus. Both my parents have been entrepreneurs and I always had the belief that I could choose to create anything I wanted, irrespective of my sex. However I now realise all the challenges that I had to face and overcome as a woman entrepreneur, all the society misconceptions, all the culture ‘rules’, that both men and woman try to impose on you, feeling challenged with what you are or do because you are different. Women have only been running businesses for the last 50-60 years and the world is still not comfortable with that. To succeed in business – whether you are a man or woman – you need to lead by example and create something new to push humanity forward, whether it’s in your local community or globally. When you challenge society and culture rules and create a new paradigm, especially a small society like Cyprus, people will initially resist it. They will even try to bring you down. If you persist and succeed at a certain stage everyone starts doing what you did and they want to emulate you. Because they see what’s possible, you begin to inspire. The only way to win in this game of business as a woman, is to lead by example and inspire. www.pavlinapapalouka.com

 

Heleniq Argyrou

Harmonise with the heartbeat of the rhythm of life

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A sunrise with me sipping ‘mountain tea’ and appreciating the Mediterranean balcony sea view. Then my tightly run morning drive with 20 African djembe drums ends with excited children ready to steal a ‘boom’ drum sound. That afternoon, a peak performance client hears me saying “how can you have a breakthrough to absorb your value and validation from your lover and your business”. To connect deep to their soul, touch their core and harmonise with the universal pulse of life, I add drumming. People work with me for the unique benefits of rhythm. They learn to play life to the beat of their own drum. Considered inspiring and unique by many, my name is Heleniq Argyrou and I live in Cyprus. An island when the women were once drummers, adoring Aphrodite in greater numbers than anywhere in the world. Originally from South Africa, born in Zimbabwe, moving to an ancient land helped me honour my ancestors and priestesses, bridging worlds and uniting my connection to source. Like a muse, Cyprus inspired training with thought leaders such as Dr Benonzon and Dr Naranjo, bridge building with 12 countries. With international outreach beyond all borders, the rhythm of my own drum merges now with the primordial and universal pulse powerfully. Here I offer island retreats, ‘ultimate upgrade’ online and international projects. Creative pathways attract fascinating people, to realise and actualise higher states of being. We heal, get happy, healthy and holy. Finally we harmonise with the heartbeat of the rhythm of life. www.ahaintelligence.com

Your free gift Reinvent yourself meditation: http://eepurl.com/bIAJanMeet and Greet Heleniq: http://eepurl.com/bPnSAP

Get educated: “Uplevel Self Mastery” https://t.co/KQzpu9HVgf

 

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