The team of Womenpreneur-Initiative had the chance to interview Victoria Heath, an enthusiastic digital storyteller, researcher, political scientist, and writer. Victoria’s background has shaped her passions, views, and her unique perspective, all contributing to her capacity to be such a great storyteller. The combination of her creative abilities and her academic intuition, merge together to offer a distinctive service with the mission to
From content writing to communications strategy, graphic design, and project management, Victoria has passionately worked with NGOs and academic institutions, collecting an impressive portfolio of diverse experiences.
As Victoria is dedicated to topics such as entrepreneurship and gender, we would like to introduce you to this great and empowering young woman. Read the interview below to find out more about her story and how she managed to succeed in creating her unique business.
Tell me a little about your background and where you grew up and went to school.
I'm originally from the southern region of the United States. Both of my parents were in the United States Air Force so I moved between South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. Eventually, I moved to Saudi Arabia, first to Khamis Mushayt for middle school and then to Dhahran for high school.
My experience living in Saudi Arabia greatly informed who I am today—especially attending an international school with kids from 80+ countries. While I was born in a relatively small, southern, conservative town, I became a globally aware individual with liberal ideals and perspectives. (A little different than what I experienced early on in my life!) More broadly,
my experience living and traveling in the Middle East as a teenager fueled my personal and professional interest in the intersections of gender, human rights, security, and technology as an adult.
What is your business?
I'm a digital storyteller, researcher, and communications consultant. My specialty is creating content and managing communications for people and organizations working at the intersections of technology, science, human rights, and global policy. I aim to increase accessibility to information on complex, global issues and ideas through in-depth research and approachable yet thought-provoking storytelling.
Where did you get the inspiration for it?
This is a really difficult question to answer because I believe everything I've done and everyone I've met throughout my life has inspired me! If I had to pinpoint the very beginning, however, I'd go back to 2002. When I was ten, my dad moved to Saudi Arabia for work, leaving my brother and I in rural Virginia with my grandparents until we could join him. To fill the time, my grandma encouraged me to create a book of stories about the farm. So, with a few disposable cameras, an aging desktop computer, and plenty of WordArt to choose from, I photographed, designed, and published my first book, delivering it to my dad four months later. It was the first time I realized the power of creativity to share experiences, ideas, and emotions. Since then, I've worked to harness that power to translate and mobilize knowledge for anyone, anywhere.
What is a challenging aspect of owning your own business and how do you overcome it?
I'm extremely blessed and privileged to have been offered several contracts since I made the decision to launch my full-time consulting business a few months ago. Since I've worked for several years as a communications professional, my network is well-established. So, right now, the biggest challenge for me is learning to say "no" and only taking the opportunities that a) I have capacity for, b) are best for my long-term goals, and c) will challenge me.
One piece of advice for anyone (but specifically women) looking to start their own business.
I honestly believe that everyone is making it up as they go along. Only a handful of people in this world really know what they're doing 99% of the time. The difference is, some people let the fear of the unknown stop them and others don't. Once you realize that, the doubt you feel will start to dry up and belief will trickle in.
How has COVID-19 changed the way you operate your business?
I worked from home in my previous job, so the pandemic didn't change my day-to-day working situation too much. However, a significant portion of my business previously was photographing and videoing in-person events, so that definitely took a hit in the last year or so. Fortunately, I was able to use that as an opportunity to pivot and offer more services.
Can you provide both examples of negative and positive business experiences related to the pandemic?
As I mentioned above, the photography side of my business has decreased significantly due to the pandemic. Personally, it's what I enjoy doing the most but the situation forced me to work on other skills, such as writing and digital marketing, which has led to additional contracts.
How did you first learn about the Womenpreneur-Initiative and how did you get involved?
I first learned about the initiative in 2016 when I was working at MaRS Discovery District, an innovation centre in Toronto, Canada. As the content coordinator for entrepreneurship education, I reached out to Sana Afouaiz (Founder and Director of the Womenpreneur-Initiative) to see if she'd be interested in using our courses for her initiative.Since then, I've assisted Sana in creating reports and content for the Womenpreneur Initiative
What could other businesses and organizations expect in partnering with the Womenpreneur-Initiative.
Everyone involved with the Womenpreneur-Initiative are passionate, professional, and intelligent individuals who truly believe in their mission. You can expect to be a part of a growing organization that is making a global difference through ingenuity and determination.
To know more about Victoria’s work and vision check out her website: https://victoriaheath.net/.
Interested in reading more about this and other topics? Check out our Blogs on the Womenpreneur Digital Hub today!
About us: The mission of Womenpreneur-initiative
Womenpreneur is a non-for-profit organization, conducting activities in Belgium and in the MENA region. Since 2016, we have launched several initiatives and projects which aim to boost women’s economic participation and engagement in entrepreneurship and tech, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have reached and empowered more than 15 000 women since 2016.
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Recently, Womenpreneur-initiative launched the Womenpreneur Digital Hub, an online platform to support female entrepreneurs in the MENA region and boost their participation in entrepreneurship, business and technology. Subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss our updates and visit our webpage and social media to discover more about our programs.
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