The UAE’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has witnessed an influx of women founders in recent years. Though women's entrepreneurship manifested more recently, its foundations were set by the government decades ago through women-centric educational reforms. As a result of those proactive steps, around 2020, female labour force participation rate reached 57%. In fact, the Global Gender Gap Report by WEF acknowledged that female business founders in the UAE grew by 68% year-on-year in 2020.
Several women from across the country and different parts of the world have been making a foray into entrepreneurship in the UAE. It is safe to say that most of them haven't looked back since. So, what contributed to their success?
According to Trupti Majethiya, whose entrepreneurship journey in the UAE began in 2016, the success can be attributed to governmental reforms, digitalization, and women’s inherent strengths that led to amazing value propositions in the market.
“Women’s core competencies were particularly effective in traditionally male-dominated industries, leading to natural differentiation,” says Trupti, Co-founder and Managing Director of a premium beverage store in Abu Dhabi.
She is hands-on involved in all organizational functions, from finance and marketing to recruitment. Such multi-dimensional leadership is characteristic of many female entrepreneurs today, with studies linking that to their capability to effortlessly juggle multiple tasks at home and office.
Rather than a top-down approach to leadership, women entrepreneurs like Trupti believe in inspiring productivity through a participatory culture in the workplace. As often as not, empathy is at the core of that workplace culture.
“I have always perceived entrepreneurship as an opportunity for value creation and addressing customer pain points. In order to do that, one must first create a corporate culture where employees feel a sense of duty. That belief contributed to the success of my first venture, D1 Global, and paved the way to the second,” Trupti noted. Under her tutelage, D1 Global, an oil and petroleum company, has grown its portfolio to over 100 projects and 20 products in less than five years since its launch.
“Being a woman in traditionally male-dominated industries is an opportunity disguised as a challenge. Women’s core competencies, including empathy-driven leadership, perseverance, and resilience against threats, often translate to value propositions that are inherently unique compared to existing ones in such industries. That gives women an instant competitive edge,” Trupti explained.