Empowering Women Entrepreneurs: Fourth Edition of UAE AWE Concludes with Celebratory Ceremony – PRWire


The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) UAE 4.0, organized by the US Mission to the UAE and startAD, recently concluded with a closing ceremony at NYU Abu Dhabi. This initiative provides essential resources for women to launch and scale successful businesses.


Empowering Women Entrepreneurs: Fourth UAE Edition of AWE Concludes with Celebration

The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) UAE 4.0, a collaborative effort between the US Mission to the UAE and startAD, aims to empower enterprising women with the knowledge, networks, and access necessary to launch and grow successful businesses. This year’s program advanced 12 female-owned local businesses and culminated in a celebratory closing ceremony attended by U.S. Ambassador to the UAE, Martina Strong.

Event Highlights

On June 06, 2024, startAD, the Abu Dhabi-based global accelerator powered by Tamkeen and anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), along with the United States Mission to the UAE, hosted a closing ceremony for the fourth edition of the AWE UAE program. The ceremony, held at the NYUAD campus, also served as a pitch day, offering a multisensory experience for ecosystem partners to engage with the products and services of the participating businesses.

Program Success and Economic Impact

Over the past four years, businesses supported by AWE UAE have become integral to the local economy, generating USD 42 million in revenue, raising USD 9.2 million in funding, and creating 524 jobs. Given that the UAE’s SME sector makes up approximately 63.5 percent of the non-oil economy, with nearly half owned by women, AWE leverages this potential to drive economic growth. The program provides interactive workshops, personalized mentorship, and networking opportunities, equipping female founders with the skills and resources to scale their businesses.

This Year’s Cohort

The 12 businesses featured in this year’s cohort include:

  1. Bookends: An online platform for affordable second-hand books.
  2. IZI Health: An integrative preventive care platform offering high-tech solutions for health consultations and holistic wellness.
  3. Baby Spa: Dubai’s first baby spa promoting physical and cognitive stimulation for infants.
  4. Hooked: A seafood restaurant with a thriving community of international food enthusiasts.
  5. Zahra’s Kitchen: A home-grown food concept offering responsibly sourced, homemade meals.
  6. Winifred Mills: A fashion house and custom tailoring service based in Dubai.
  7. Vanilla Rose: A cafe specializing in specialty coffee, desserts, and customized flowers.
  8. High Street Resources: An executive talent company providing HR consulting services.
  9. INSTAGLAM: A mobile app for on-demand beauty services.
  10. DYStinct Learners: A center helping children overcome learning differences through tutoring and therapy.
  11. Creams Desserts: A dessert shop inspired by Emirati flavors.
  12. YALA Kombucha: A cafe offering Kombucha, a natural soda made from tea and herbs.

Leadership Insights

Daleya Uddin, Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Dubai, praised the program’s global impact, noting that 74 percent of AWE graduates reported higher incomes, and 29 percent hired additional staff post-completion. The program has empowered women in 120 countries, helping them build resilience and adapt to economic challenges.

Hana Barakat, Senior Associate Director of startAD, expressed pride in the program’s success and its contribution to a competitive, knowledge-based economy in the UAE. The AWE program, established by the US State Department in 2019, has empowered 25,000 women entrepreneurs worldwide.

Future Initiatives

Building on the success of AWE UAE, the U.S. Mission to the UAE will host the first State Department MENA region Women’s Economic Empowerment (WE Empower) Summit from September 17-19, led by U.S. Ambassador Martina Strong. The summit will bring together policymakers, female founders, industry leaders, and media to discuss strategies for promoting women’s economic empowerment.

For more information about AWE UAE, visit startad.ae/awe.

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