Filling multiple roles at the same time, especially when you’re a woman, is never easy. However, Nasima El Bachiri-Ouamar was successful as a daughter supporting her mother, but also as a wife, mother of five children and manager of several companies in the Netherlands.
Last year, the Dutch-Moroccan was named a new member of the Supervisory Board of Horizon Flevoland, a regional development agency and private equity firm based in Lelystad, the Netherlands. A year earlier, she even won the “Flevoland Businesswoman of the Year” award.
Born in 1978 in Naarden, east of Amsterdam, and raised in Bussum, a little further south, this entrepreneur comes from a Moroccan family originally from Nador. His father worked as a factory worker while his mother was a housewife. “My father came to Holland in 1969 and my mother followed him in 1977,” she told Yabiladi. Discreet in nature, it will no longer stray into the course of its parents.
However, Nasima El Bachiri-Ouamar tells us that she had an atypical adolescence. Her modest family was affected by the disappearance of her brother, who died at the age of fifteen as a result of senseless street violence. A tragic event that will precipitate his decision to get married at 17.
The Journey of a “Serial Entrepreneur”
As for her professional career, the Dutch-Moroccan confides that, after high school, she moved on to vocational secondary education and then on to higher vocational education.
“I started my own business very early on, when I was pregnant with my first child,” she explains. In fact, in 2000, while working as an executive secretary, the idea for her first company germinated in the office.
“My responsibilities extended to cleaning. However, the cleaning company did not give us complete satisfaction. So I decided to enter the industry.”
Nasima El Bachiri-Ouamar
Dutch-Moroccan Nasima El Baciri-Ouamar. / Ph. Lisa Zilver – Avanti-almere.nl
Over the years, his company B Flex Cleaning has managed to find a place in Almere, with reputable companies such as Starbucks as customers. Also fascinated by wedding dresses, the businesswoman also acquired a bridal fashion boutique. “I got married young at 17 and was fascinated by wedding dresses. When I heard there was a bridal shop for sale, I didn’t hesitate,” she told Yabiladi.
Two years ago, the “serial entrepreneur” added a carpentry shop to the bag. “During the period of the coronavirus pandemic, the situation was calm for our cleaning company. I’m an entrepreneur and I need to keep myself constantly busy. Then I heard about a woodworking shop that had gone bankrupt and I decided to buy all the machines and reopen it,” she says.
“Believe in yourself”
For Dutch-Moroccan women, the situation of immigrant women entrepreneurs in the Netherlands has greatly improved. “Women of color are becoming increasingly visible and successful, and as a result, the younger generation is also getting role models and inspiration,” she says.
She also advises to “believe in yourself”. “We now live in a time when boundaries are narrow and you can become visible more quickly. Don’t just think within borders. Thanks to social media, you can make yourself and your product visible outside these boundaries,” she tells women entrepreneurs in Morocco, her home country.
“Set goals and follow them and you will eventually achieve your dreams if you believe in them intensely. Take good care of yourself too, because if you don’t, no one else will. You are the main driver of your success.”
Nasima El Bachiri-Ouamar
Nasima says she is still tied to her parents’ country. “I am Moroccan and I love Morocco. I visit the country with my husband and children several times a year”, he concludes. But for now, the entrepreneurial turmoil has not yet decided to target a Moroccan company.