18 Muharram 1446 - 24 July 2024
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Eye of Riyadh
Business & Money | Monday 27 May, 2024 2:08 am |

Top 17 companies in Investment Readiness Acceleration Programme for Women Entrepreneurs announced

The Ministry of Economy and the European Women's Association (EWA) today announced the names of the top 17 companies in the Investment Readiness Acceleration Programme, launched in March 2024.


The "Investment Readiness Acceleration Programme for Women Entrepreneurs" aims to support the growth of women-led start-ups in the UAE, promote their expansion into new economic sectors, provide them with the essential skills to raise capital and investments, and support their communication with investors.


Seventeen companies out of 200 that applied for the programme were selected, including eight that received financial support from investors interested in creative ideas, projects, and innovations presented by those companies.


A committee of venture capital and private equity experts reviewed the top 17 projects.


The event also saw the announcement of the top three start-ups, which were awarded cash prizes of AED200,000 for first place and AED100,000 each for second and third place, from the GETVISION family office in recognition of their achievements and investment potential.


The three top companies, were Zidyia, which specialises in creating educational pathways for teachers and learners; Diagnio, which specialises in women's health management, and The Food Engine, which reshapes agriculture with sustainable practises. Five other companies founded by Emirati citizens and expatriates will receive subsequent investment support of up to AED2 million.


In her statements to the Emirates News Agency (WAM) on the sidelines of the event, Badreya Al Maidoor, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Support Services Sector at the Ministry of Economy, said that the Programme, in cooperation with EWA, is an initiative launched by the Ministry of Economy to promote gender equality and empower women in various economic activities.


She noted that the initiative encourages them to establish new entrepreneurial projects that contribute to enhancing the state's economic development. The programme had 200 applicants, of which 17 companies qualified and presented their products, innovations, and creative ideas.


She said that eight out of the 17 companies received funding opportunities from investors who attended the company presentations.


She explained that this initiative aims to encourage the establishment of new entrepreneurial projects that enhance economic development in the country and strengthen women's essential skills to attract investments and financing.


She said that the programme provides direct and specialised learning opportunities through training courses that cover the main aspects of establishing and developing start-ups that meet the unique needs of female entrepreneurs.


Yulia Stark, Founder and President of the European Women's Association (EWA), said that over the past three years, the focus has been on building bridges between female entrepreneurs in Europe and the UAE. After many trade missions, they cooperated with the UAE Ministry of Economy to support institutions to obtain financing.


"Access to financing remains a challenge for female entrepreneurs, and therefore the EWA Accelerator provides a direct solution to this challenge by providing financial support and vital ecosystem partnerships,” she highlighted.


She pointed out that supporting female entrepreneurs in obtaining financing is what they have been doing for the past decade, and this is what they are doing in the UAE to expand across the UAE to other Gulf Cooperation Council countries.


She described the role of the UAE Ministry of Economy as "comprehensive, including communicating and cooperating with 100 companies."


Daria Vasilyeva, Founding Partner of EWA Accelerator, told WAM that the project was launched to support women and female entrepreneurs seeking investments over the next six to nine months. With that in mind, among 200 start-ups, they selected many that could participate in the program to be more investment-ready. In the end, the top 17 companies were selected.


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