For the episode #12 of Business Beyond Borders, I interviewed Oriana Nasser, Managing Director at Jerusalem Stone Group, a Palestinian company specialising in stone and marble quarrying.

Oriana has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from San Francisco State University and was the only women in her graduating class! She also has a post-graduate qualification from the University of Harvard.

In 2008, Oriana joined Jerusalem Stone Group, which at the time was a small engineering business run by her husband. Ten years on, the company is a successful international business which employs more than 40 staff and exports to the United States, the Arabian Gulf States and Europe.

Tune in to my interview with Oriana to find out about:

• Oriana’s journey from being the only women in her graduating class at San Francisco State University to heading a successful international business based in Palestine.
• The significant challenges and restrictions that come with running a business in Palestine and how Oriana handles them.
• How Jerusalem Stone Group started to export internationally and the challenges that came with that expansion.
• The key strategies Oriana uses to find international clients.
• Where Oriana finds her inspiration and what keeps her going through hard times.

When you consider the challenges that Oriana has faced in operating and growing a company from an occupied territory, the success she has achieved is nothing short of remarkable. I’d like to dedicate this episode of Business Beyond Borders to all the entrepreneurs who feel as though “it’s just too hard” …. and remind you that “it’s all relative”!

If you’re a small business thinking of going global, check out the International Business Accelerator – an end-to-end solution that helps micro-to-medium businesses build and implement an international strategy:

Cynthia Dearin

Cynthia Dearin is an international business strategist, advisor, keynote speaker and author of Amazon best-seller Camels, Sheikhs and Billionaires: Your Guide to Business Culture in the Middle East and North Africa. With 18 years of international experience, as an Australian diplomat and management consultant, she is the Founder and Managing Director of Dearin Associates and the International Business Accelerator that helps clients to access opportunities in fast-growing international markets around the world.