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Sun 17 Nov 2019 10:41 AM

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Gender debate: Why is only 14% of funding going to female-owned start-ups?

The Arabian Business Startup Forum will take place on November 24 at the Waldorf Astoria The Palm hotel

Gender debate: Why is only 14% of funding going to female-owned start-ups?

According to a recent industry report, only around one in seven investments in new start-ups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) were in companies founded by women

According to a recent industry report, only around one in seven investments in new start-ups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) were in companies founded by women. Why is this, and how can the gender imbalance be addressed?

This issue will be the key debate at this year’s Arabian Business Startup Forum, which will take place at the Waldorf Astoria The Palm hotel on Sunday, November 24th.

Join the debate and hear the views of our expert panellists by registering for the event here.

Kicking off the event off will be a keynote address by Nayla Al Khaja, the UAE’s first female film director, who will describe the gender divide within the film industry, her own entrepreneurial journey and how she is expanding her horizons and going global in a bid to win funding for ‘The Shadow’, her new Hollywood-style feature film project.

Also on the panel to discuss the challenges and opportunities for female entrepreneurs and start-ups in the region will be Briar Prestidge, founder of Dubai-based public relations firm Briar Prestidge International. Briar is the organiser of live monthly talk show event series Deals in High Heels and was a participant in a recent Amazon Prime global TV series on entrepreneurship.

“From being in the start-up space myself and from running my monthly live talk show event, I have met many other female founders over the years, but often find the start-up ecosystem in Dubai to be a mainly male dominated world,” she said in a recent article for Arabian Business.

Joining Nayla and Briar on the panel will be Lucy Chow, Director of the Women's Angel Investor Network (WAIN), who can give her take on the investment issues facing women and what WAIN is doing to help address the imbalance. More speakers will be announced in the coming days.

Start-up to billionaire

In addition, we will have a true titan of the UAE business world on hand to give some insights into his journey from a start-up in a small Deira trading office in 1993 to the billionaire empire that is Danube Group today.

Another inspirational keynote speaker will be Omar Jackson, a serial entrepreneur and partner at private equity firm Berkeley Assets, who can talk about his personal journey and also attracting high profile partners such as the British boxer Amir Khan.

We will also have two additional panel discussions: one looking at how to launch your start-up from idea to the marketplace, while we will also focus on start-ups and SMEs which are not just focused on revenue and profit but are also make huge social impacts with their businesses. More details will be revealed in the coming days.

Space will be limited so in order to take part in the debate and hear the views of our expert panellists and keynote speakers by registering for the event here.