She WINS Arabia aims to help women-led startups across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) get the advice, mentorship, and finance they need to grow. The objectives include:

  1. Strengthen the knowledge and skills of women-led startups and businesses in MENA to support them with building their business plans and refining their pitches to potential investors.
  2. Increase the capacity of fund managers to target, support, train and invest in women-led startups and enterprises.
  3. Connect these trained women-led startups and enterprises to the trained fund managers through networking events and a pitch competition.

Since the launch of its first round in 2021 in the UAE, the initiative provided capacity building and trainings to key players in the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, including nearly 80 women entrepreneurs leading startups and over 20 fund managers. Participants represented eight countries in the region: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, the UAE, the West Bank and Gaza, and Yemen.

This first phase of the initiative was led by IFC and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) in partnership with the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The second round of She WINS Arabia was launched at the 2022 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG). In this round, She WINS Arabia is expanding to support 100 additional women-led startups and over 30 additional fund managers across MENA. The number of countries included in the initiative has also grown to over 15 and will now also cover Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Syria.

To kickstart this round’s activities, IFC has invited the She WINS Arabia entrepreneurs and fund managers to our events in Dubai in February to hear their ideas about disrupting different key sectors – from fintech, to e-commerce, health-tech, ed-tech, and software.

This second phase of the initiative is led by IFC and the UAE’s World Government Summit in partnership with the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi).

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