Lubna Olayan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most influential businesswomen, making her Marcopolis’ #4 most powerful businessperson in the Kingdom. In 2014, Olayan was ranked as Forbes’86th Most Powerful Woman in the world.
Olayan operates Saudi Arabia’s Olayan Financing, part of Olayan Group, which runs over 40 companies in the region. Olayan Group is a global company engaged in distribution, manufacturing, and investments. The company, like many others in Saudi Arabia, like to keep it “it the family.” Olayan sits on the board of the company, as do her siblings, brother Khaled, and sisters Hayat and Hutham. The family has accumulated an estimated $10 billion from the private company.
Saudi Arabia is still very much in the process of introducing women into the business world. However, Olayan has helped the development by paving the way for many others. She was the first woman to be elected to a board position in the country, at Saudi Hollandi Bank, as well as became the first woman to deliver a keynote address at a major conference, the Jeddah Economic Forum.
Olayan is on the board of the Arab Business Council’s executive committee, the international Advisory Boards of Rolls-Royce and Citigroup, as well as the Board of Chelsfield plc. The list of her accomplishments in companies in the region goes on.
She is involved in a number of philanthropic endeavors. Olayan is part of the Advisory Board of Effat College, a nonprofit private school geared towards empowering young girls. She is also an active board member at Alfanar, which is the first venture philanthropy organization that focuses on the Arab region. Moreover, Olayan was elected to the Board of Down Syndrome Charitable Association.
These are just a few nonprofit organizations Olayan is involved in. Her many business and humanitarian endeavors is why Olayan was nominated as Marcopolis’ 4th most powerful businessperson in Saudi Arabia.
The Richest magazine estimated the Olayan family fortune to be US$ 12 billion.