On October, 24th 2011, TechWomen Mentee Loubna Lahmici launched the first coupon website in Algeria. Ms. Lahmici’s new site, Dzreduc.com, provides limited, high-value printable and mobile coupons for significant discounts to local consumers.
By taking the first steps toward online commerce, Loubna’s venture is transforming Internet shopping in Algeria. In a country with over 8 million Internet users and more than 30 million mobile users, Dzreduc.com is changing Algerian consumer practices by introducing the Internet as a tool to save time and money. Loubna’s familiarity with the local culture, business relationships and an understanding of Internet usage and technology challenges in Algeria were key to her success. Loubna was able to modify the ideas and best practices gained through her TechWomen experience in Silicon Valley to shape a venture that’s culturally appropriate for Algeria.
Loubna’s TechWomen Mentor, Jill Finlayson, is Senior Director of Community at LikeList, Inc., a startup that runs a social online platform where people discover and share local businesses and positive experiences. She shared her experiences and provided Loubna with opportunities to meet with Valley leaders to learn how to interface with venture capitalists, craft online marketing programs, and discover how to launch a new venture.
“Our pairing was really a uniquely Silicon Valley experience,” Ms. Finlayson said, “not only because Loubna was one of two CEOs selected for the program and both our companies are preparing for a launch, but also because LikeList is housed in the Plug & Play Center…along with nearly 300 start-ups from around the world.”
Loubna explained that being at a start-up provided a unique opportunity to interact and exchange ideas with the CEO and head of technology as well as the managers from different levels at LikeList. The chance to network beyond LikeList further enriched Loubna’s experience and Mentor Jill Finlayson reached out to contacts to expand these opportunities.
“The Techwomen program was an invaluable experience,” said Loubna. “I learned how to set up a vision and think big.” “My experience…gave me insights into cutting-edge technologies, connecting me with counterparts, and opening up new opportunities for the growth of my business.” She returned home with new ideas, the latest best practices, and a launch plan for her new venture.
Loubna’s new venture is clearly taking off. In the three weeks since the site was launched, Dzreduc.com has registered more than 13 000 visits, 800 subscribers, and 500 coupons downloaded! Loubna is already planning for the future – “in this early stage,” she described, “the key to success is balancing between the number of business deals and [the number of] coupons downloading. So, we need to hire more sales force people and marketing staff.”
Congratulations Loubna on this exciting venture! Many thanks to Jill Finlayson and LikeList, Inc. for hosting Loubna’s TechWomen mentorship and being a critical piece to the success of the TechWomen program. Please visit her site at www.Dzreduc.com.