Main Story, Press

Womentum 2020 Heads to Egypt and UAE, Applications Now Open

womena® partners with Standard Chartered to empower MENA’s female-led tech startups

MARCH 5, 2020 – DUBAI: Womentum is back with Cycle 3 and ready to grow the next generation of female-led tech startups changing the game and driving impact in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

For the 2020 program, Womentum by womena® and Standard Chartered’s Women in Tech will begin by taking Cycle 3 startups to Egypt’s vibrant entrepreneurship hub and will wrap up in the United Arab Emirates, the investment capital of the region.

Applications are now open and will close on April 19. APPLY HERE: LINK.

“We wanted to really regionalize the program this year by hosting both bootcamps in MENA,” says Elissa Freiha, founder of womena®. “Innovative thinking and creativity exists in our backyard, and Egypt is the entrepreneurial hub of the Middle East,” she adds. 

The four-month experience-based accelerator begins with a two-week bootcamp between Cairo and Gouna, where tech and innovation experts will be zeroing in on the foundations of each startup’s business model and product development. 

“With its thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem and the massive market potential, Egypt is a country where most MENA-based startups either start in or want to expand into,” says Habiba Helmy, managing director of the Womentum Accelerator. 

“We’re plugging in a beachside component this year with Gouna, where we want to give founders a chance to step back from the madness of startup life and revisit their strategies in the serenity of the Red Sea,” she adds. 

Following a remote mentorship and market validation period, the second bootcamp will bring startups to the UAE, preparing them for investment and growth, focusing on financials and legal structure, team building and pitching. The final Demo Day will take place in Dubai and is an exclusive event open only to investors. 

As Womentum’s main partner, Standard Chartered will award the three top-performing startups a total of $30,000 in equity-free prize money at the end of the program.

Founders in the program will also have access to womena®’s wider network ecosystem partners, and each startup will receive more than $20,000 worth of tech, legal and consulting services. 

Womentum is powered by womena®Media, which produces creative content that highlights the founders and their startups as they go through the program, as well as produces a documentary series that follows their personal and professional journey. Season 2 of the Womentum Series about the 2019 cohort will be released in April 2020.

“Our media platform brings the stories of these unique startups and their inspiring female founders to a global audience,” says Amira Salah-Ahmed, womena® chief media officer. “We give them the exposure they deserve and we train them to be comfortable and confident with the media,” she adds. 

Graduates of the 2019 cohort reported an 85 percent impact on overall brand strength and 85 percent more confidence in dealing with media. Cycle 2 graduates gave Womentum a Net Promoter Score of 90 percent, reporting a 77 percent improvement in their business model, 83 percent improvement in financial model and 86 percent improvement in their pitch and decks.

“We saw the exponential impact made by our accomplished alumni, not only through their startups but through their roles as role models in the ecosystem,” says Freiha.

“After releasing the Womentum docu-series, a new generation of women in the region are considering entrepreneurship and at a time when diversity of thought is needed more than ever in innovation. We’re proud to be raising the voices of the Middle East’s brilliant women founders,” she adds.

**Watch Womentum Series (Season 1) on Facebook

**Hi-res photos for publishing: LINK

**Womentum 2019 Impact Report: LINK

About womena

womena® is a media company that highlights the stories of female founders, creatives, innovators and changemakers in the region, bringing their voices to a global audience. Our flagship accelerator program Womentum empowers female-led startups and has increased the pipeline of women entrepreneurs in the regional ecosystem. Through our womena®Bossladies Network, we build, connect and inspire a growing network of purpose-driven entrepreneurs, investors, tech talent, wellness leaders and creatives. All of these elements come together to make womena® a holistic ecosystem for female leadership in innovation. 

For more information:
Amira Salah-Ahmed, Chief Media Officer: amira@womena.com
Habiba Helmy, Womentum Managing Director: habiba@womena.com