The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been taking significant strides in empowering female entrepreneurs and fostering a supportive environment for the growth of women-led businesses. This has not only driven economic growth but also played a vital role in bridging the gender gap in the region. In this article, we explore the various initiatives, support systems, and benefits offered by the UAE government to female entrepreneurs UAE, as well as the impact of these efforts on the overall economy.
The Rise of Female Entrepreneurs in the UAE
A Shift Towards Gender Equality and Inclusion
The UAE has established itself as a leader in addressing gender inequality and empowering women entrepreneurs. Through various government initiatives, the entrepreneurship ecosystem has transformed into a diverse, inclusive, and success-inducing space for women. This is evident in the fact that at least 50% of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UAE are owned by women, employing about 20% of the workforce and contributing to roughly 20% of the country’s GDP.
Vision 2021 and the Growth of SMEs
Under Vision 2021, the UAE government successfully registered 95% of its businesses as SMEs. This has led to a surge in the number of female entrepreneurs UAE and women-led businesses in the region. However, despite the impressive statistics, only 6% of private equity and venture capital funds in the sector go to women-led enterprises, as reported by the International Finance Corporation.
Government Initiatives Supporting Female Entrepreneurs UAE
The UAE government has been consistent in offering incentives, services, and benefits to support women entrepreneurs and bridge the gender gap. Some notable initiatives include:
Women Entrepreneur Support Groups
These groups provide a platform for women entrepreneurs to share their experiences, seek advice, and build a strong network for mutual support and guidance.
Women Entrepreneur Finance Initiatives
The government has introduced various finance initiatives to help women entrepreneurs secure funding and grow their businesses.
Business Setup Packages for Women
Special business setup packages have been designed to cater to the unique needs of women entrepreneurs, offering reduced licensing costs and operational flexibility for women-led businesses.
Emirati Women Entrepreneur Incentives
The UAE cabinet has decided to uplift Emirati women-led small enterprises through microfinancing, empowering their transformation and integration within the SME sector, and incorporating them into e-commerce platforms.
Women Entrepreneur Network in the UAE
Several organizations and networks have been established to support female entrepreneurs in the UAE, offering mentorship, networking, education, incubation, and funding opportunities. Some key players in the women entrepreneur network include:
The Khalifa Fund supports women entrepreneurs in the UAE by securing funding and providing legal aid to help them establish and grow their businesses.
UN Women and NAMA Women’s Advancement
These organizations run masterclasses, workshops, and an accelerator for new businesses, empowering women entrepreneurs with skill development and networking opportunities.
Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC)
DBWC supports UAE-based businesswomen by offering education, training, and funding opportunities to help them thrive in their respective industries.
Dubai Women’s Establishment (DWE)
DWE hosts an annual women’s leadership exchange program that guides women on sustainable leadership practices and provides valuable networking opportunities.
Female Fusion Network
This network integrates a business community to support the growing number of female-founded businesses in the UAE through mentoring, networking, education, incubation, and funding.
Benefits of Working with Female Entrepreneurs UAE
Collaborating with women-led businesses offers several advantages, including:
Diversity in Your Network
Partnering with a female-owned business allows you to tap into a vibrant and diverse network of vendors, enhancing your business connections and opportunities.
Strengthening the Economy
Supporting women-led businesses leads to healthy competition, which in turn strengthens the market and levels the playing field.
A More Collaborative Environment
Research has shown that women are more open to a collaborative workplace and are better at teamwork due to higher emotional intelligence. This creates a healthy team-oriented environment that can easily adapt to your needs.
Women’s Empowerment Network: Empowering the Next Generation
Organizations like BeingShe are making a significant impact on women’s empowerment network by providing a platform for self-discovery, development, confidence, esteem, and empowerment. By nurturing creativity and passion in women, they aim to inspire women to live to their full potential without being held back by insecurities or self-doubt.
The Way Forward for Female Entrepreneurs UAE
It is time for businesses to listen, learn, and act based on the vision and passion of women entrepreneurs. By supporting the growth of women entrepreneurs and empowering the new generation of women, we can drive the advancement of women-owned enterprises and bring new ideas, services, and products to the market.
The UAE has made commendable progress in empowering female entrepreneurs UAE and fostering a supportive environment for women-led businesses. The government’s initiatives, combined with the efforts of the women entrepreneur network, have driven economic growth and played a vital role in bridging the gender gap. By continuing to support and empower female entrepreneurs, we can create a more inclusive, diverse, and prosperous economy for all.