Entrepreneur of the Week: Lama A. Younis, founder of Hissah Enrichment Center

Children’s rights activist Lama A. Younis says more needs to be done to prevent child abuse.

“You were born unique and you should continue your life journey being unique,” is the main message from this week’s Entrepreneur of the Week – Lama A. Younis, a children’s rights activist and founder of Hissah Enrichment Center.

The Saudi national is a forensic psychologist and criminologist.

Younis completed her counselling psychology studies at Effat University in Saudi Arabia in 2005. She then went on to obtain a Master’s Degree in Criminology and Forensic Psychology from Middlesex University in London, after which she finished her PhD in Childhood Studies in the UK.

As a Saudi woman, it was not easy for Younis to acquire these qualifications, which is why she is also an advocate for personal and social improvement and hopes to push women in the GCC to “follow what they really want to be”.

Hissah Enrichment Center, named after her mother and launched in Dubai in 2013, focuses on the prevention of child abuse and the empowerment of its victims in the region.

“This problem is so complex but that will never stop me from working on a path towards a solution,” explains Younis. “Understandably, I cannot meet everyone's needs, but we try our best to recognise and address the social issues and provide what is best for society as a whole.

“I am constantly learning every day and I believe our success lies in ensuring that our programmes are updated to respond to the changing needs of society.”

The centre also works to enrich interpersonal skills and improve social relationships on personal and professional levels for adults, youth and children.

Last year Younis founded The Lama Campaign - @thelamacampiagn – a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to ensuring the protection and well-being of Muslim children and youth through education and awareness.

The organisation aspires to forge, guide and support a commitment by families, communities and nations to prevent child abuse so as to ensure that every child grows up in a secure and healthy environment.

In 2014, Younis was awarded in the ‘Women in Business’ category at the second Arabian Business StartUp Awards.

She has been repeatedly listed as one of "The 100 Most Powerful Arabs Under 40’ by Arabian Business.

When asked to advise other GCC-based entrepreneurs who aim to build businesses in order to solve some of the current social problems, Younis says: “Clarity is important. So, I would advise them to clearly articulate their mission, goals and vision for their business.

“Passion is crucial and they need to have a team that shares their entrepreneurial passion. Lastly, culture counts, and I would advise them to start small rather than big, especially when dealing with new and culturally-sensitive concepts.”


Do you know an entrepreneur who deserves to be our Entrepreneur of the Week?

Please explain in 200 words why your entrepreneur of choice deserves the Entrepreneur of the Week accolade and send your nominations to tamara.pupic@itp.com

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Posted by: amina MKADA

so proud to hear about a woman children?s rights activist !!! true that i am not a GCC national but I do support all free women in their fight against injustice, one of them is child's abuse, torture, exploitation, rape, hunger, etc.

Mrs Hissa, we women of Tunisia are proud of you.
Go ahead and good luck.

Posted by: amina MKADA

sorry, Mrs Lama not Mrs Hissa (not so familiar with your name), I apologize

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