A Bold Purpose: Enabling Other Women to Succeed

A Bold Purpose: Enabling Other Women to Succeed

United Arab Emirates is the best place for a female entrepreneur to start a business. Women are the key to UAE’s economic future as statistics show that they make up 70% of the UAE’s university graduates and 44% of the workforce.

Times have changed. Women are just as hungry to go for business setup in UAE as in the West. As UAE is on its course to becoming one of the most innovative and futuristic cities in the world; both local Emiratis and foreign investors move to UAE to look for business opportunities in Dubai.  As a result, UAE is a mix of different people, ideas and creativity and home for some of the most talented women in the world.

In the Forbes’ Most Influential Women for the Middle East 2018, 16 expatriates are based in UAE. Number one spot in the list of expat women is UAE-based Renuka Jagtiani, the Indian CEO of retail conglomerate Landmark Group. Huda Khattan, American-Iraqi social influencer turned entrepreneur, founder of billion dollar cosmetics brand Huda Beauty which is based in UAE got 9th place. Rafiah Ebrahim, a Malaysian expatriate in UAE who is the president for Ericsson Middle East and Africa, bagged the 13th place.

The report shows that Middle East is undergoing paradigm shift with women-led businesses dominating major sectors. Especially in UAE landscape is ever evolving with most gender diverse cabinets. 27.5% of the cabinet ministers in UAE are women. This is an extraordinary achievement because in Middle East, mostly older men are ministers.

Beneficial Visa changes to come for female expats

Limited residency options is one the major barriers for expat women to start a business in UAE. In order to combat the issue, UAE government recently announced 10-year property visa for expats and 1 year residency extensions for recently divorced or widowed women without work visa. Once the decision comes into effect, it will give more stability, security, freedom to work in jobs to women coming to UAE. They will also feel comfortable to think of about longevity of their plans for company formation in UAE.

Also Read: New UAE Laws Mean a Big Boost for Business

Government agencies that provide support to women entrepreneurs

There are many UAE government and private agencies that offer support to entrepreneurs- monetary, advisory or both. To name the few : The Khalifa fund for Enterprise Development, the Emirati Entrepreneurs Association, Qiyadiyat Leadership group, the International Business Women’s Group Dubai, the Women’s Network Group, the Entrepreneur’s Organisation UAE and similar groups are enabling women entrepreneurs to learn from each other and be successful in their business and lead a happy life.

Also Read: UAE is becoming better place for business & residents

Women Supporting Each Other

The biggest hurdles faced by women entrepreneurs is not only to come up with a great business plan backed by financial and social sustainability but also getting access to the peer networks they need for support. This is why leadership programs are developed to give these young women the training they need.

E7 Daughters of the Emirates

E7 Daughters of the Emirates is a leadership program that is paving ways for a growing community of ambitious women entrepreneurs and leaders between 18 to 25 years in the UAE to solve social, environmental, cultural or economic problems. Adela Acevedo Sarna, e7 co-founder says,

“Women in the UAE, both nationals and expats, have tremendous potential as business leaders and change makers. They just need some motivation and the right environment to realize what they can achieve”

Promise of a Generation (POAG), is also a UAE-based community forum of over a thousand women achievers. Both e7 and Promise of a Generation are volunteer-led and run organizations in UAE.

Adi Zuk, co-founder of Oya Venture which is an African organization that facilitates the growth of women–owned businesses that empowers others in Africa says, “My initial purpose was to be financially successful. But with time i have realized that this is not enough. I now want to create a new and better system for women in a man’s world.”

This is her bold purpose i.e. change the world to benefit more women. We sincerely hope

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