WOMENA has set its sights on an even younger generation of entrepreneurs and investors that will be building the UAE’s ecosystem in the coming years, and what we’ve seen so far is pretty promising!
Since WOMENA started two years ago, we’ve been lucky to be a part of a growing startup ecosystem that is nowhere near to reaching its full potential yet! In order to be ready, the UAE needs both savvy entrepreneurs, as well as sophisticated investors that are willing to take risks and invest in these local startups. AND… It needs them to stay in the region. Since universities play a vital role in fostering innovation and producing tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, WOMENA is partnering with the largest local universities to provide localized content, real world experience and introduce venture investing to students.
In the US, only 7% of decision-makers at U.S. VC firms are women. WOMENA believes that here in the Middle East, we can do better. On that note, we launched the Young Investors program with the female Finance Club at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi. The goal of getting more young Emirati women interested in and ready to pursue a career in venture finance was supported by OBS group.
Throughout the workshops, the students learned the basics of venture investing, practiced managing a portfolio through simulations, and assessed real startups for investment. The course ended with a cross-pitch collaboration, where students watched pitches from Zayed students that are aspiring entrepreneurs and gave them feedback from an investor point of view.
Finance major Moza Al Suwaidi commented how valuable the courses were to her as an investor and possibly a future entrepreneur, “I really enjoyed the three workshops and gained a lot about venture capital. I was always into using financial instruments as a way of investing in theory rather than investing directly in a business. However, seeing how you’ve helped a lot of companies grow is very interesting. Also, seeing how WOMENA started motivated me to think more about opening a business in the future.”
WOMENA will be working to make taking this course an option for university students across the UAE, and continuing to see the graduates from this course placed as interns so as to get the practical experience needed.
HE Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman, Chairman of OBS Group, expressed his commitment to supporting this initiative, “Emirati women have been key contributors to the national development. They have added significant value to UAE’s progress and prosperity through their effective and genuine involvement in all aspects. OBS Group supports all initiatives that aim to further strengthen the achievements and empowerment of women.”