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Women entrepreneurship trend on the rise in the UAE

Women play a big role in the economic growth of the UAE and the trend of women entrepreneurship is on the rise in the country.

The UAE is leading the region in empowering women by fully supporting and facilitating them to increase their contribution in the business activities.

The UAE offers significant growth opportunities to women for growth across sectors and the country’s women entrepreneurs have acquired significant attention in recent years through their innovative ideas and advance skills.

According to McKinsey Global Institute study, advancing women’s equality could add $12 trillion to the global economy by 2025.

In a best-case scenario, that number could jump to $28 trillion dollars.

On the occasion of ‘Women Day’ celebration entrepreneurs from various sectors shared their thoughts with the Gulf Today on the future opportunities.

Ghada Sawalmah, CEO of Gargash Hospital said, “The acceleration of economic growth has been possible only because of women entrepreneurs. Women contribute to half of the world’s population, and their efforts have come to surface well in this era.”

“At Gargash Hospital, around 50 per cent of the hospital’s workforce is made up of women, with 80 percent holding key leadership roles. We believe in the power of women, and can’t wait around for the industry to catch up with this trend.

“I personally feel that skill, adaptability and understanding are few of the prime reasons for us women to emerge as business leaders. When women are active contributors in the workforce, they invest in their families, their homes, and their communities, leading to measurable impact,” says Ghada.

“In the UAE, the wise leadership, government and the citizens support and encourage the contributions of women, which has been a critical force in empowering us to serve as game-changers for the economy. Today women are as likely as men to recognize the business opportunities around them. Women are not only strong innovators, but they also help grow markets, maintain sustainability and increase employment prospects.”

Sadia Anwar, Founder & CEO of Storically, “The trend of women entrepreneurs is on the rise, with 25% of business being owned by women in advanced market economies. In developing economies, many women are turning to entrepreneurship as well, especially in the space of micro-businesses.

“In the UAE, women as myself have had the opportunity to not only present our ideas, but also give shape to our dreams. My venture Storically is a testament to the same,” adds Sadia.

Sadia concluded by saying that the socio-economic impact of women on the economy is immense, the contributions ranging from job creation and poverty reduction to social equality. Just like the UAE, several other countries are also taking the lead to enable more women to take up entrepreneurship to bring innovative new ideas, products and services to the market.

Rika Bothra Co-Owner & Marketing Director, Plastfree Middle East FZE said, “Women today are at the helm of global economic development. Over the past several decades, women have been a fast-growing segment of small business owners, with entrepreneurial women representing the fastest-growing cohort of all entrepreneurs.

“Further, many women-owned businesses focus on sectors such as health care and education, qualifying for consideration as social enterprises, designed for both profit and positive social or environmental impact. Plastfree, is one such organisattion, where we have not only ventured into a business which defies the odds, but also ensured that the community we serve, benefits from our solutions,” states Bothra.

“In the UAE, we have been privileged to be a part of an ecosystem that supports women entrepreneurs, helping us create a mark for ourselves in the country. The UAE business environment is committed to driving equality in the business world, serving as a steppingstone to learn, grow and develop. We are grateful to the country and its government for offering us equal opportunities to grow and flourish at each stage.”

The startup ecosystem in the Middle East and especially in the UAE is a perfect ensemble that rings in the right notes and the well-orchestrated symphony for encouraging women entrepreneurs.

Experts suggest there is compelling evidence, further supported by the recent findings of the Kauffman Fellows Research Centre, that top management teams with more significant gender, international experience and educational diversity have a significant positive impact on business performance.

The world, particularly the UAE is heading towards this change, with several women already holding the reins to top positions.

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