Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum at the 'She WINS Arabia' event in Dubai on Tuesday. Image Credit: Twitter

Dubai: Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and Member of the Dubai Council, and Makhtar Diop, Managing Director of the International Finance Corporation, today witnessed the ‘She WINS Arabia’ event to support female entrepreneurs in the MENA region. The event was held as part of the World Government Summit (WGS) 2023.

‘She WINS Arabia’ seeks to support the growth and success of women-led startups in the Middle East and North Africa by offering advice, mentorship, and finance. Currently, women entrepreneurs in the MENA region face significant barriers, with only four per cent of formal enterprises being majority-owned by women. Lack of access to finance is a significant barrier for women entrepreneurs. Just six per cent of VC capital goes to women-led startups due to a lack of female representation in the venture capital industry. Only five per cent of VC investors in the region are women.

Co-led by the International Finance Corporation and the World Government Summit, the ‘She WINS Arabia’ initiative is specifically designed to address these barriers and provide support to women entrepreneurs in the MENA region. The initiative aims to enhance the skills of women entrepreneurs, build the capacity of fund managers to support them, and establish connections between these two groups to promote growth and success.

Enormous potential

Sheikha Latifa said: “Women entrepreneurs in the MENA region have enormous potential and must be equally involved in the empowerment and development of our economies. As a society, we must break down the barriers that prevent women from realising their full potential and provide them with the resources they need to succeed. Dubai is a global hub of entrepreneurship that has always welcomed innovators and dreamers, and through initiatives like She WINS Arabia, we are working to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for women entrepreneurs so that they can drive economic growth and create positive change for themselves, their families, and their communities.”

She attended the ‘Dream Big – Creating the Next Arab Female-Led Unicorn’ panel discussion and also participated in the passing of the She WINS Arabia torch from the previous year’s winner, Samira Owaynat (Founder of AskPepper), to the youngest participant of She WINS Arabia II, Guadaluna Chaer (Co-founder of Luxeed Robotics), as a symbolic gesture of support and encouragement.

“As women, we have the power to shape the future and make a difference in the world. They have the ability to turn their dreams into reality and make a lasting impact, and it is my belief that the future of female entrepreneurship in the Arab world is bright,” she said.