High-Impact Entrepreneurship

Press release: Endeavor Entrepreneurs Leila Velez, Hind Wassef and Nadia Wassef receive Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award

Leila Velez, Hind Wassef, and Nadia Wassef (7th, 9th, and 10th from left) pictured here with the other Veuve Clicquot 2011 Business Women Award Winners.

REIMS, France- Veuve Clicquot announced today that three Endeavor Entrepreneurs were honored at Veuve Clicquot’s Annual International Business Woman Forum. Leila Velez of Beleza Natural (Brazil) and Hind and Nadia Wassef of Diwan Bookstore (Egypt) received the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award.

Since 1972, the annual Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award has honored exceptional women in the business world, including Endeavor Co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. Recognizing some of the world’s top female economic leaders, the BWA is now awarded in 25 countries each year. These captains of industry display certain qualities: an enterprising spirit, strong leadership, unapologetic audacity, serious creativity and talent. It is these same qualities that make them the worthy descendants of Madame Clicquot Ponsardin, who as herself a pioneer in a world oft-reserved for men only.

Initially created to commemorate the House’s bicentennial, the internationally recognized Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award has since borne further initiatives (Best Female Chef Award, Women of Inspiration Award). As LVMH is extremely sensitive to the importance of sustainable development, it values a company’s Corporate Social Responsibility – a criterion now used to decide our BWA winner. Along these same lines, Veuve Clicquot launched its Initiative for Economic Development Prize in 2006, supporting the positive impact that exceptional women have in their own developing countries. Veuve Clicquot recognizes that our actions today will implicate us all tomorrow- thus it seeks to reward candidates for future-forward innovation, intuition and a visionary character, as well as exploration of new Internet capabilities and/or technologies that help to develop businesses of the future.

Endeavor Entrepreneurs Nadia and Hind Wassef are role models to aspiring female entrepreneurs. In 2001, Nadia and Hind recognized the opportunity to introduce a modern bookstore chain in Cairo and founded Diwan Bookstore. The business has grown to employ 200 people and includes ten stores in Egypt’s capital, each of which blends Eastern and Western literature, features a café and regularly welcomes visits from authors. During the 2011 Arab Spring, Nadia and Hind held lectures at Diwan stores, offering Egyptians a place to congregate during troubling times.

Endeavor Entrepreneur Leila Velez is the CEO of Beleza Natural, a Brazilian salon chain famous for an innovative product that tames and smoothes curly hair. Beleza Natural currently includes 26 salons in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo and employs over 1,000 people. Each serves up to 1,000 customers per day, processing up to forty clients at a time through their seven-step process.

Stephane Gerschel, Director of International Communication at Veuve Clicquot, said that Veuve Clicquot was thrilled to award Leila, Nadia, and Hind. “Veuve Clicquot is extremely excited to celebrate the accomplishments of these extraordinary women, all three of whom are paving the way for the next generation of female entrepreneurs. Felicitations, Leila, Nadia, and Hind!”

In addition to honoring Leila, Nadia, Hind, and a score of other inspirational female entrepreneurs, Veuve Clicquot awarded Indian novelist Shobhaa De a special Tribute for her remarkable accomplishments in the field of writing and her contributions to India’s cultural landscape.


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