Social Entrepreneur Spotlight



Afsheen Ismail-Wey

Founder of Phoenix Coaching Co.

Personal Information/Background

I’m originally from Pakistan and have lived and worked in the 7 countries so far, including the US, UAE, Srilanka, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Austria, and of course Pakistan. I started my HR career in 2003 with KPMG, then moved on to work with some wonderful companies including Mondelez International and Abbott Laboratories. After over 15 years in corporate I launched my own business, The Phoenix Coaching Co. is a socially conscious coaching company where we do the exciting work of coaching leaders in multinational organizations to accelerate their personal and business impact. I’m also a board member of the International Coach Federation – UAE Chapter

What motivates you and tip for those who want to enter the social impact space?

4 years ago after a life-changing event I was struck by the deep need to align all my life’s efforts behind my passion and purpose. I am hugely passionate about, and inspired by, my husband and my son, my work as a coach and the community initiatives that I contribute to. All of these are my “raison d’etre” and I can honestly say 4 years on I feel incredibly fortunate to now have successfully built my life’s work on these foundations.

The legacy I want to leave behind is one of courage. I hope to create, through my example and also through my coaching of others, the access for individuals to pursue exactly what they believe they are called to do and what sets them on fire. It’s a journey that requires a lot of resilience but is worth every effort!

More Details about the Initiative - the problem, the solution and the model..   

I support leaders who strive to balance their authenticity with their impact. It is my view that there are functional skills that anyone can learn but those will get you only so far in creating impact. It is when a leader harnesses these skills within the context of their own unique purpose and leadership narrative that transformative impact happens for themselves, their teams and organizations and this has a ripple effect on the community.

My work with leaders allows me to contribute to the community as well. As a social entrepreneur, from the very beginning of my entrepreneurship journey I’ve built my business with a conscious commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 5. So a percentage of the profits and time of my business are dedicated to community empowerment initiatives in this area. These initiatives, over the past 2 years, have been mainly focused on supporting women to have greater levels of agency over their lives.

Tips for young social entrepreneurs:

My advice to others would be to Honor your Truth. Each of us is here because we have a unique gift that we must bring to the world right now. So step into the light with all your gifts and experiences, embrace yourself and your truth completely and fearlessly. Your light will shine.

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