International Women Entrepreneurs Show: Interview with Yvonne Spiller of FCS Consultants

International Women Entrepreneur Show 2019
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On the eve of International Women Entrepreneurs Show taking place in in Dubai, we had the chance to interview Yvonne Spiller, Managing Director at FCS Consultants to talk on a range of topics including her inspirational journey to entrepreneurship and why believes women supporting women is vital in today’s world.

The 2nd edition of International Women Entrepreneurs Show (IWES) hosted by RSVP Events Management and FCS Consultants is currently underway today and tomorrow at Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai.

The two-day event aims to create an eco-system approach to empower women entrepreneurs to showcase their products and services thus catalysing in achieving their vision in a connected and inclusive way through networking, collaboration and partnership – enabling business growth and celebrate their role in leadership.

Cardela Coulson, Co-Founder/Managing Partner RSVP Events Management and Yvonne Spiller, Managing Director, FCS Consultants will be hosting the event.

The two-day event will be attended by Entrepreneurs, Women Empowerment Supporters, Consultants, Freelancers, Digital Marketing Gurus, Government officials, Free Zone Agencies, Mentors etc.

The event is committed to empower and assist women to achieve their business goals and drive their economic potential by inspiring them to become supporters, innovators and leaders in their community. IWES inspires their entrepreneurial minds and provide them with the ideas, knowledge and skills needed to succeed. The show is a model of successful partnership and collaborations of empowered women with the support of successful businessmen, who work together to produce this excellent event.

The show is designed with stimulating panel discussions, one-on-one interactions with women entrepreneurs who are showcasing their products and services, workshops, inspirational talks, networking and many other inter-active activities. IWES 2019 is expecting a footfall of around 1,500 delegates attending to take advantage of this leading regional trade and networking event.

Guest speakers include:

• Jenny Hunt, CEO of Gateway Group of Companies and ranked on of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in the Middle East by Forbes 2019.
• Karen Osman, Founder of Travel Ink and Best-selling author and winner of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Montegrappa Novel Writing Award.
• Assia Riccio, Founder of Evolving Women and member of the UAE taskforce for the implementation of the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP).
• Maya Alhawary, Chairwoman of the Board of Governors/ Director of planning for Dubai Carmel School. Maya became a Tedx speaker on Tolerance in 2019.

The stimulating and interactive 2-day event is a must attend for all women in business, thinking of starting a business or just wishing to grow in themselves.

Arabian Gazette team had a chat with one of the main hosts of the event, Yvonne Spiller, to get to know more about her, her inspirational journey to entrepreneurship, how she helps entrepreneurs to succeed and why believes women supporting women is vital in today’s world.

We started by asking to introduce herself…

Throughout my 40 years in the Corporate world I have worked my way up the ladder by sheer hard work. I wasn’t able to go to university because my parents in the 60’s didn’t have the money to send me. I was determined that I would work hard to achieve my goals in life without the aid of a degree. My success has taught me valuable lessons, none more so than the need to be heard.

I have been very passionate about every job I have ever had. I have always put my heart and soul into every position I have achieved and always met, if not exceeded my goals. This is why I jumped quicker than most women of my age up the career ladder. I am a great believer that women supporting women, in this day and age, is vitally important. I have had amazing years in the corporate world in the UK and Dubai and I am a great believer in the Givers Gain philosophy, ‘what goes around comes around’.

My business, FCS Consultants, is an ISO & Management Consultancy company and encompasses the lessons I have learnt in life. We work closely with businesses of all sizes, to help implement the process and procedures that make them more efficient, competitive and profitable. We do this by becoming part of their team, understanding their ethos and knowing their people. We help make the difference!

On some of the valuable life lessons that she learnt in her journey so far…

Never take anything at face value. This is especially true in this region. Small businesses face huge challenges and it is too easy to let standards and ethics slip. I fight hard to stick to what I believe in. Especially as a woman, I have had to stand my ground against my male counterparts. It is sometimes intimidating, but I have faith in myself and my team.

Her being a great believer that women supporting women is vital in today’s world, we asked why and what makes her say that…

For many years, across the globe, women were looked upon as not suitable for senior management positions. It makes me smile thinking of a man ‘managing’ a family home with 3 kids! We are born managers, born creative thinkers and born doers. There were times in my past when I had little money and just bits and pieces in the cupboard to make dinner, but I did just that. It is what we do and it needs to be recognised at board level and it is in parts of the world.

Some of the valuable corporate lessons that she learnt in her journey…

Check everything at least twice. If in doubt ask a friend and, if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. I believe if my brain, my heart and my gut is not aligned then don’t do it! This is called mBraining.

Yvonne is on a mission to help Entrepreneurs build and grow profitable businesses. We asked for some for some tips and to share a few examples…

Networking, don’t be afraid of trying, be honest and don’t promise what you can’t deliver.

Through working with different companies over the last few years I have come to realise that company will only pay the necessary amount of money even if it gives them a poor outcome.

For example, a company in Dubai was going through an intensely bad patch. The Managing Director had done what many businesses do here to win business and tenders; he bought three fake ISO’s. The Quality, Environmental and Health & Safety ones. On the morning in question, we were in a networking meeting and he looked terrible, ill even. When I asked him what was wrong, he was embarrassed. However, after some persuading, he explained what had happened, the whole background story as to what he had done and to cap it, he had tried to be recertified the right way. This was his undoing. The auditor quickly realised that the ISO’s, although all were officially certified, were in fact fake and gave him 3 months to put it right or lose his certification.

When my husband and myself went to have a look at the facilities and did an initial walk through, we thought that this can’t be too difficult to solve, but it was going to be hard work and determination that was going to get us through the next 3 months.

We worked with the staff and the Senior Management Team to bring everyone into the task ahead. There were many issues that we had to overcome, for example with waste material to ensure that everything had an Operating Procedure. We documented all the processes and procedures that an external auditor would need to see when they came to do the audit. Essentially, we had to start from the beginning and put an action plan in place to make sure that we stayed on track.

After the 3 months we knew we were ready for the external auditors, and we made sure that we were there with the Senior Management Team (our friends) to ‘hold their hand’. All the staff had gained the knowledge they required and everyone fingers were cross for the day ahead.

Then the external Auditors arrived and the first thing they said, and I remember it as clear as day was, ‘they did not recognise the place’ and they thought they had come to the wrong place. It was a long day, but I was so pleased to hear from the mouth of the Auditors that he was pleased to inform us that they had achieved they reaccreditation. After the auditors went, I was really happy for the Managing Director, because it meant that their company had a future and they could continue to provide the quality service to their clients, knowing that they had achieve a genuine ISO accreditation.

Because they gained their 3 ISO’s they found that this was opening doors to new business throughout the UAE. They have now moved into biggest facilities and because of the process and procedures they have in place they have become more profitable.

And the benchmark for success…

My benchmark is a happy client. Whether it be a successful certification of an ISO Management System, a re-certification, or any other of the many types of management support projects we provide, a happy client shows a successful outcome.

Yvonne’s secret to always remain highly motivated and achieve your goals…

Having a supportive husband who won’t let me sit and sulk. Knowing I can do better and have a circle of friends to turn to when I feel overwhelmed.

Believe in yourself first and foremost. Build a network of like-minded friends to bounce ideas off and who will tell you when you need to stop or rethink things.

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