ABU DHABI, 19th September, 2022 (WAM) — startAD, the Abu Dhabi-based accelerator, powered by Tamkeen and anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi, in partnership with the United States Mission to the UAE, has opened applications from 19th September to 29th November, for the third edition of the Academy of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) programme, titled “AWE UAE 3.0 – Women in Business”.
The three-month programme will enable women-owned SMEs in the UAE to identify and analyse new channels, markets, and customers. It will also strengthen the operational business pillars that these businesses may not have the resources or experience to build, focusing on business resilience, adaptability, and identifying growth opportunities.
Commencing on 13th December, the programme will consist of workshops, mentoring, and one-on-one coaching by experienced business strategists, innovation experts, and mentors. It will culminate on International Women’s Day on 8th March, 2023, where finalists will showcase their achievements and businesses to the programme partners and key stakeholders from the UAE innovation ecosystem.
Robin Solomon, Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in the UAE, said, “The U.S. Mission to the UAE is proud to partner with startAD to drive the 3rd edition of the AWE in the UAE. Since 2020, startAD has supported 44 UAE women entrepreneurs and innovation leaders through this programme, giving them the tools and confidence they need to launch and scale successful businesses. We look forward to welcoming a new cohort of AWE UAE participants, and continuing to work with UAE organisations, such as startAD, to promote women’s economic empowerment.”
For her part, Hana Barakat, Senior Associate Director of startAD, stated, “We are pleased once again to partner with the US Mission to the UAE on a programme that will help participants to re-energise and reset their mindset to a new paradigm. AWE UAE will provide access to experts to gain new insights on local and global markets as well as networking opportunities that will allow them to connect with potential partners, new customer channels, and potential investors.”
The first two editions of AWE UAE incubated 21 businesses, resulting in partnerships and internships in sectors ranging from retail and construction to healthcare services. Two participating businesses secured commercial agreements with large Abu Dhabi-based corporations, and others expanded their operations in markets such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Applicants should be female UAE Nationals or long-term residents, between 20 to 55 years old, who are owners of a VAT-registered small business or an SME leader who influences strategic decision-making. AWE UAE is open to all industries and sectors. Businesses that demonstrate two years of operating revenues are encouraged to apply before 29th November.