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11/12/2017 - 13:26hs

UAE encourages women-owned business

A program put in place by local organizations is designed to steer capital into female-run companies, in a bid to address funding gaps and spur entrepreneurship.

São Paulo – Organizations in the United Arab Emirates launched a program to encourage female entrepreneurship in the country. The goal is to draw on venture capital in order to enable women-owned businesses, which still pale in comparison to companies owned by men in the country, surveys say.

The Future Founders and Future Funders Programme was put in place by government-run organization Dubai SME and by WOMENA, an angel investment platform that sees women investors put money into women’s businesses across the Middle East.

Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported this Monday (11) that the Programme targets university-level Emirati women who are starting their careers, “to develop a strong pipeline of investors and entrepreneurs.

A 2017 report from Crunchbase showed that only 7% of corporate decision-makers in the UAE are women. In the Middle East and North Africa, 14% of business founders are women, as per a survey from ArabNet.

The programme was launched at Zayed University’s Women’s College, with a four-week long course divided into Future Founders, for entrepreneur-minded females, and Future Funders, for women looking to get into venture investing.

During the launch, Dubai SME deputy CEO Saeed Matar Al Marri stressed therole of entrepreneurship in women empowerment and said the organization is seeing “a remarkable increase in entrepreneurial initiatives from women.” He also said Dubai SME is “focusing on bridging gaps, particularly in terms of knowledge and funding.”

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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