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TiE Dubai Reveal MENA Winners from TiE Women Regional Finals

The Dubai chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE Dubai) has announced the winners from its regional MENA TiE Women pitch competitions. In its third year, TiE Women is a global initiative dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs across the globe to come forward and speak of their entrepreneurial journey, share their innovative business ideas and be a part of the vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.

This year’s MENA regional competitions saw over 200+ applications from women-led businesses from 15 countries across five regions (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Levant, and Rest of the MENA). The nominations were reviewed by a jury of renowned experts and successful entrepreneurs from within the TiE Dubai network, and 42 finalists were shortlisted from 10 countries, 20 cities, and 13 different industries across all five regional finals.

The five final winners to represent MENA and TiE Dubai at the global finals include (in order of the regional finals):

Saudi Arabia
Winner – Bright Sign (Hadeel Ayoub)
Runners Up:
Ghirass Agriculture (Ghanimah Abuhaimed)
Playbook Application (Wafa Al Obaidat)

Egypt
Winner – The Baby Garage (Farah Ahmed Faraq)
Runner Up:
Chefaa (Rasha Rady)
GTTDUN Consulting (Heba Assem)

Rest of the Middle East
Winner – Clever Play (Latifa Al-Khalifa)
Runner Up:
ExcelWay (Sophia Benhaddou)
MONSAPO (Sabrine Chennaoui)

Levant
Winner – Ruuq (Alizar Tawil)
Runner Up:
Meatkom (Zain Al Shorbaji)
Eureka Tech (Afnan Ali)

UAE
Winner – ImInclusive – (Hafsa Qadeer)
Runners Up
Grocart (Nesma Zaghow)
Nutrical (Soniya Ashar)

The judges evaluated the business concepts based on value creation, global market opportunity, competitive advantage, operational and technical viability, management team capability, raise and exit strategy, financial acumen, and lastly the presentation strength. According to a 2019 analysis by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), if women and men participated equally as entrepreneurs, global GDP could rise by approximately 3 to 6%, boosting the global economy by $2.5 trillion to $5 trillion.

Wamda reported that in the first two months of this year, less than $6 million was invested in startups founded solely by women, while startups with both male and female co-founders raised $17 million in total, or 2.7 percent of the $622 million raised in MENA. Ashish Panjabi, President of TiE Dubai, pointed out, “We are very proud to see our (MENA) region featured really well. We (TiE Dubai) had the largest number of applications to this year’s global competition and it was a tough job to whittle it down to 42 finalists and then choose just five winners to represent us. TiE Women’s pitch competitions not only raise the profiles of some outstanding women-led businesses but also close the gap in funding for women-led businesses which we are all dedicated to bridging. There are more angel investors and VCs now focused on closing this gap, which is encouraging, and we hope the contributions of competitions like this one helps to change investment attitudes sooner rather than later.”

The vision and goal of TiE Women is to ‘Embrace, Engage, Empower’ women entrepreneurs across the globe – irrespective of the size, origin, interests, standing, and background of the enterprise. The TiE Women initiative is built on the Pillars of TiE Global: Learning, Mentoring, Access to Funding, Scalability, Safe Space, and Community.

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