AJSM was the platinum sponsor for Entrepreneur magazine’s Achieving Women’s Forum in Dubai yesterday and this got us thinking about the topic of female entrepreneurs in the Middle East. A lot of effort and marketing has been put into encouraging female entrepreneurship in the region in recent years, to much success. With a handful of associations such as Abu Dhabi Businesswomen Council, Dubai Women Establishment and International Business Women’s Group in the UAE alone, as well as a host of government funded schemes; women are becoming more and more prevalent in the business world.
Taking the lead from Western countries where women are equal to men in the workplace, the women of the UAE are now pushing themselves to receive a better education and better career. Whereas before the majority of women wouldn’t receive higher education or ever work a full time job, now more and more women are outperforming the men in university, as well as gaining their dream job or even starting up their own company.
According to the UAE’s Ministry of Economy, women account for nearly 50% of the SME industry in the UAE and 48% of those are the sole proprietors of their companies. These figures have greatly increased when compared to 5 or 10 years ago. With more associations and support groups for women in the UAE, female entrepreneurs now believe they have the support to succeed in their business. For example, the Ro’ Ya programme, which empowers women to follow their business dreams and encourage them to partake in a business competition to win funding. Similar to the AJSM Hero Campaign, the group’s aim is to increase the amount of female entrepreneurs in the UAE even further and show those who own their own business that there is support out there for them.
As the years go on, female entrepreneurs will no longer be seen as a new concept or even a hot topic. It will be accepted as the norm and women will be alongside men in all business aspects. With events such as Entrepreneur’s Achieving Women’s Forum, more and more women will be inspired and encouraged to live out their career dreams and start their own business in the UAE.