By Tamara Pupic
This year’s first edition of Arabian Business StartUp Academy to focus on regional women entrepreneurs building transformational businesses.
The first in a new series of Arabian Business StartUp Academy events takes place on Monday, 21 March, with a workshop on the current state of female entrepreneurship in the UAE.
The breakfast workshop will be held at the Address Dubai Mall, starting at 8.30am.
Following a recent government reshuffle, the UAE government is led by 29 ministers out of which eight are female with the youngest among them being 22 years old.
This initiative of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates Ruler of Dubai, to unleash the creative potential of women in the UAE will further require an equally sustained effort of the private sector to spur the promotion of women on the corporate ladder and to support female entrepreneurship.
We will welcome two speakers to them podium to learn about various challenges women face when working within male-dominated industries as well as when starting and growing their businesses in the region.
To kick off the event, British entrepreneur Sarah Jones will share the main learnings from her experience in building the ‘go to’ place for kidswear in the GCC region – Mini Exchange.
Having worked in the corporate world for a few years, Jones decided to start her own business in Dubai in 2014. She spotted a gap in the market for an online website to buy and sell children’s clothes, and Mini Exchange was born.
Due to the company’s innovative business concept, Jones has earned a number of industry accolades including the Middle East CEO’s Small Business CEO of the Year Award and being listed as one of the 50 Most Influential Brits in the UAE.
Mini Exchange recently closed its seed fundraising round of over $1 million.
After a short networking break, we will reconvene for a workshop led by Nina Curley who is currently developing a network and a number of programmes for women in leadership that focus on overcoming confidence gaps and helping women manifest their visions over time. She is supporting the growth of sustainable business in the region as the manager of Launchpad, a UAE-based platform that fosters the development and execution of impactful social enterprises and corporate social responsibility initiatives.
Curley will invite the attendees to take part in an interactive session of inspiration and knowledge building – Closing the Confidence Gap: A Workshop on Expectation & Excellence – designed to empower them to think of new ways to help women flourish in their careers and businesses.
Following her role as editor-in-chief of Wamda, the largest entrepreneurship news site in the Middle East, she was instrumental in setting up Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi, a UAE branch of Egyptian digital start-up accelerator. She is also an original member of WAIN, a Dubai-based women’s angel investment network.