WOMENA Turns 2!

Three years ago, WOMENA began as an idea formed on a boat between two friends in the middle of the Greek isles under the stars. One year later, WOMENA launched as a platform to encourage women to start angel investing. Two years later again under the stars, WOMENA celebrated our anniversary and announced milestones such as 40 active angel investors, nearly 2 million AED invested in 6 portfolio companies, with an audience of 500,000 reached! 

On November 2nd, over 120 investors and ecosystem members gathered at La Cantine du Fauborg to celebrate the impressive impact that female investors have made in the local ecosystem through WOMENA. 

The beautiful venue

At the event, we not only celebrated WOMENA’s progress but also the tremendous growth we’ve seen in the ecosystem. We’re most proud of the successes of our two first portfolio companies, Melltoo and AlemHealth who have seen nearly 10x growth since we’ve invested in them a year a half ago. We’re also excited to announce two new portfolio companies, Bayzat and Souqalmal, who we expect to see great things from in the future.

Ambareen Musa, Rami Salman and Chantalle Dumonceaux

But we’re not content to just stop there. In 2017, we aim to double the number of angel investments we make and double the number of active investors in our networks–that’s 40 more angels investing in the ecosystem.

We also want to work with governments, corporates and institutions to create a new generation of educated investors through education and awareness.

And our work has never been more urgent. MENA startup database MAGNITT has just released a report highlighting the major funding gap that early stage startups in MENA experience. According to the report, although 47% of MENA startups on MAGNITT are seeking to raise angel rounds, there are only an estimated  200 angels actively making investments. This coming year, WOMENA will work even harder to bridge that funding gap by developing a new generation of angel investors and encouraging women to invest in tech startups.

This is what we and you all have the opportunity to change, as angel investors. And the way we change that is: WE WRITE CHEQUES. And our cheques provide jobs, drive innovation and provide a place for the Middle East in the global innovation economy.

In the coming year, we hope we will see many more of you join us as angel investors! If you’re interested in trying it out, send us a line at contact@womena.co and we’ll invite you to our upcoming pitch event!

Check out the full photos on WOMENA’s Facebook page. Here’s to another year of #WOMENTUM.

Elissa Freiha and Chantalle Dumonceaux

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