Mirela Sula’s inspiration to found the Global Woman Club came when she was an outreach worker for survivors of domestic violence in London. In her outreach work, she realized one of the biggest barriers to leaving an abuser is limited or total lack of access to money, since perpetrators of abuse often control their partners’ finances.
She wanted to pivot from social services to a business model where she could help women build their confidence and gain financial freedom. So, in 2015, she founded the Global Woman Summit, an international conference where women can network and empower each other.
Mirela Sula’s mission to help women
I spoke to Sula over Zoom. Both confident and warm, she was wearing a silky leopard-print jacket. The many books on the white shelf behind her were organized by color, and there were two covers of Global Woman Magazine on the wall behind her.
This year’s summit in London had just wrapped up on July 17, and kicked off two days earlier with a transformational meditation with Deepak Chopra.
“We had like 50 countries in one room; grateful to see that diversity and [those] amazing, talented women who traveled around the world to come and be together,” Sula recalls.
An unexpected entrepreneurial journey
Originally from Albania, Sula was a teacher before moving to London. Entrepreneurship wasn’t even something she thought she could accomplish.
“When I was in Albania, I always loved media,” said Sula. “When I moved to the capital city, I changed my career from a teacher to a journalist because I loved and studied journalism. I studied literature and language, and then I started counseling psychology. Then I became the editor-in-chief of a psychology magazine.”
But after several moves to different cities in Albania and eventually to the U.K., she began working as a trainer for domestic violence survivors, hosting workshops to help those who had no financial resources to leave their relationships.
Her original idea was a nonprofit organization called Migrant Woman, but she found that it attracted a very small following, because much of the immigrant population in London was settled and considered London to be home.
“I found it a little bit of a challenge. Women [said], ‘Oh, I’m not a migrant,’” Sula recalls. “It felt like many people didn’t want to identify themselves as immigrants.”
She decided that she needed to think bigger and develop an organization that was inclusive to all women and would empower them financially and relationally.
So, in 2015, she founded Global Woman Magazine and began to plan the first summit.
Launching Global Woman Club
“The whole thing in fact started with the magazine,” Sula says. “When I moved to London… I was not able to start a job as a psychologist or a journalist because my English was not good enough. I struggled to put words together and I knew I wouldn’t be able to follow my career as a journalist. And as a psychologist, I needed to wait until I finished my Ph.D. So at some point, I decided to do my own magazine and immediately after, I continued to the summit.”
The summit was planned as an avenue to give a voice to women who were seeking financial freedom. Sula had noticed in her domestic violence work that many survivors were also financially controlled by their abusers. Her motivation was to help women make their own money. She did this by putting women in the same room.
“If you really want to empower a woman, give her a microphone,” Sula says. “Because by taking that microphone, they stand in their power and they realize that with that power, they can build confidence and they can make money because they have value.”
In 2017, Sula expanded, creating the first Global Woman club in London. Within a year, 14 more clubs opened, all with the intent to host in-person networking events to connect women. Membership to the Global Woman Club is international, so women can attend events in any country. There are also online and hybrid events that allow members to connect at an international level.
“The Chapter in Los Angeles is bringing women from Los Angeles together. But we also invite all the other members in other clubs like Paris, Stockholm, New York, Orange County, Chicago, Cypress [, California], Sweden—wherever they are,” Sula says. “And then they come together and start connecting with each other. We facilitate breakout room sessions, we create accountability and we put them together and they start talking with each other.”
She says that women at these networking events are often able to identify others who share the same values. These meetings foster significant partnerships, with some members even moving to another country to pursue better opportunities.
“I felt like if I manage to come from a small village [in] a small country and expand my [platform, brand and business] around the world, it’s time for all of us to think global,” Sula says. “I want to encourage women to get out of their comfort zone, out of their local mind. Because there are so many opportunities out there… And this is exactly what we do—we travel the world.”
Mirela Sula’s winning morning routine
Currently, Global Woman also offers an app called Global Woman Club Cast and an online academy with educational courses on business strategies and wellbeing. Sula’s life is a whirlwind: She frequently travels for public speaking gigs and writes books and podcast scripts. But despite her demanding schedule, she takes time each morning to start the day with intention.
“Me and my partner, we start the day together,” Sula says. “First with meditation. With the meditation, we do 20 minutes of reading. After the 20 minutes [of] reading, we go and do 40 minutes of exercise.”
After that, she and her partner dress up and go out for coffee in Central London. They spend that time discussing the book that they’ve read and a topic of the day, then they both start their workday around 9 a.m. This way, they can keep the early morning hours as their own time.
Despite the busy schedule, Sula is exactly where she wants to be and is grateful to be able to work with her heroes every day.
“There’s a moment when I was in the village reading these books of Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Robin Sharma, Les Brown, Jack Canfield, Robert Kiyosaki—all those big names,” Sula says. “I started visualizing myself and how my life would be if I met these people. Now I’m living the dream where I work with all of them.”