Dubai winners of female entrepreneurship programme unveiled

Promising female entrepreneurs honoured at a gala dinner hosted by the Dubai Business Women Council and MasterCard

The Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC) has announced the winners of the second Ro’Ya programme, a ten-month-long female entrepreneurship programme developed in cooperation with MasterCard.

Leyla Lahsini and Shirin Benamadi, the co-founders of KenziBox, a subscription service offering monthly craft activities for pre-schoolers, won the top prize of AED183,647 ($50,000), at a gala dinner Dubai at the Address Downtown.

Out of the top three finalists, who were asked to present their ideas in front of the judges for a live deliberation, Amira Awwad, founder of MedsConnect, won second place while the third prize was awarded to Abir Moussa for her Officetag business.

The first and second runners-up received cash prizes of AED110,188 ($30,000) and AED73,459 ($20,000) respectively while the newly-introduced People’s Choice award, which was voted for live at the event by attendees, also went to Leyla Lahsini for KenziBox.

Commenting on the conclusion of Ro’Ya 2015, HE Dr. Raja Al Gurg, president of DBWC, said: “This year’s Ro’Ya participants showed more drive, originality, and entrepreneurial thinking, reaffirming the importance of this initiative to foster female talent in the UAE.

“Our winners not only showcased enthusiasm and eagerness in their final presentations, but also combined the right balance between creativity and business acumen – key ingredients to launch a successful business.”

To enroll in the third Ro’ya programme, which will kick off in January 2016, interested female entrepreneurs are advised to visit for more information.

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