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Soumaya Hamzaoui, the Chief Operating Officer at RedCloud, hails from North Africa. She oversees diverse aspects such as operations technology, sales, marketing, product design, and implementation. The entrepreneurial spirit she encountered growing up played a significant role in her career trajectory.

Academic Journey and Social Impact Interests

Moving to France at the age of 20 to attend an engineering school, Hamzaoui was exposed to a multitude of cultures and developed an interest in promoting African economies. She learned the importance of understanding and challenging societal expectations, particularly for women.

Soumaya Hamzaoui, Tech Entrepreneur
Soumaya Hamzaoui, Tech Entrepreneur

Career Objectives over Career Plans

Hamzaoui stresses that while she didn’t strategically plan her career, she always had set objectives. These were shaped by her entrepreneurial mindset and her need for intellectual freedom and independent action.

Challenges on the Path to Success

Hamzaoui identifies three major challenges she encountered: asserting her unique methodology as an entrepreneur, adapting to leadership roles at a young age, and overcoming the fear of failure. She underlines the importance of accepting failure as part of the journey toward success.

A Leap in Women Empowerment

Her efforts to improve female representation in Africa stand as a significant achievement in Hamzaoui’s career. Through RedCloud, she has empowered numerous women entrepreneurs, particularly in Nigeria, helping to build representation for typically underrepresented regions.

The Backbone of Success: A Strong Support System

For Hamzaoui, a crucial success factor is having a solid support system, both professional and personal. Supportive colleagues, partners, friends, and family play a pivotal role in achieving and sustaining success.

Advice for Aspiring Tech Professionals

Hamzaoui advocates for a deep understanding of one’s industry and its evolving technology and business models. She advises utilizing every opportunity to enhance visibility and knowledge within the industry, particularly for women in tech, given their lower representation.

Observations on Women in Tech and the Role of Companies

While acknowledging barriers to success for women in tech, Hamzaoui also notes an ongoing shift attracting more women into technical roles. She underscores the responsibility of companies to provide growth opportunities and acceleration programs to support women.

Quotas: A Necessary Evil?

Despite her general disapproval of quotas, Hamzaoui concedes they might help address the underrepresentation of women at board levels. Through quotas, she hopes to witness a significant increase in female representation at the top levels within the next decade.

Resources for Continuous Learning

Hamzaoui encourages staying informed about the industry and its giants, such as Amazon and Facebook. She recommends reading tech-focused books, following credible news sources like the Financial Times, and participating in fast courses at institutions like Harvard Business School.

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