TiE Dubai Announces Programme to Empower Entrepreneurs

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The Dubai chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) has launched the fifth annual TiE Women MENA Programme 2024, an initiative aimed at supporting and elevating women entrepreneurs across the MENA region. This year’s programme expands to include five categories: UAE, Emirati, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the rest of the Middle East, reinforcing the commitment to fostering gender parity in entrepreneurship.

Applications are open until June 1st, 2024, inviting women-led ventures to showcase their innovation and business acumen. The competition will undergo several rounds of screening by an unbiased jury of TiE Dubai Charter members, culminating in five pitch competitions for the selected finalists. Winners will advance to the MENA finals and ultimately compete in the global finals in December 2024.

Throughout the programme, participants will benefit from mentorship by experienced industry leaders, financial advisory services, strategy coaching, workshops on business planning, and an online global accelerator programme. The initiative aims to help women entrepreneurs perfect their investor pitches and gain valuable insights into scaling their businesses.

The World Bank highlights that if women entrepreneurs had equal access to finance, global GDP could expand by $5-6 trillion. In the UAE, nearly half of women entrepreneurs face significant barriers to accessing capital, often relying on personal savings. The TiE Women MENA Programme addresses these challenges by offering funding, mentorship, and community support.

Rohit Dev, President at TiE Dubai, emphasised the importance of supporting women-led businesses. “Despite women-led businesses constituting less than 5% of all businesses in the region, and a significant drop in fundraising in 2023, TiE has been empowering female entrepreneurs through the TiE Women MENA initiative since 2020. We aim to equip women founders with the tools, knowledge, and networks necessary to thrive,” he stated.

The programme collaborates with over 15 accelerators, incubators, VC funds, and members of the angel investor community, including in5, DBWC, Flat6labs (MENA), Plug and Play, and more. This collaborative effort ensures a comprehensive support system for women entrepreneurs.

Notable past winners include Lara Hussein, co-founder & CEO of The Waste Lab, who has achieved significant accolades since her TiE Women MENA win. Similarly, Emirati winner IZI Health from Abu Dhabi and the Saudi runner-up Playbook have made substantial strides in their entrepreneurial journeys.

Women founders or co-founders from any industry who hold at least 33% equity in businesses up to seven years old operating in the MENA region are encouraged to apply.