Women need to change the habit of a lifetime and learn to negotiate: Ambareen Musa

Updated 10 April 2018

Women need to change the habit of a lifetime and learn to negotiate: Ambareen Musa

  • Dubai-based CEO says women need to learn to negotiate more
KING ABDULLAH ECONOMIC CITY, Saudi Arabia: When doing business, women do not negotiate enough, said Ambareen Musa, founder and CEO of the comparison website, Souqalmal.com.

Musa told Arab News on the sidelines of the Arab Women Forum on Tuesday that women had fewer tendencies to ask for help, financial or otherwise.

“I always say, if you don’t ask you don’t get,” Musa added.

“The worst you can get is a ‘no.’ If you do not ask you wouldn’t know. This is a culture I am trying to build,” she explained.

When Musa was first starting her business, she used to think twice before negotiating and before putting a “high number on the table.”

“I would think, ‘oh that could be insulting to the other person.’ I was thinking maybe that is too much to ask.”

The entrepreneurial scene in the reign is still largely male dominant. Women are not “as aggressive in their dreams as male entrepreneurs,” she added.

The change in the cultural norm and how each one perceives the opposite gender starts at a very young age. Musa said women in the families are the ones holding the purse and husbands get back to them for financial consultations.

“Culture and social norms is not something you change overnight. It does require parents, teachers, education system, and the regulators and the governments to bring altogether to change this in the space of a few years,” she said.

Saudi Arabia has lion’s share of regional philanthropy

Updated 27 April 2018

Saudi Arabia has lion’s share of regional philanthropy

  • Kingdom is home to three quarters of region's foundations
  • Combined asets of global foundations is $1.5 trillion

Nearly three quarters of philanthropic foundations in the Middle East are concentrated in Saudi Arabia, according to a new report.

The study, conducted by researchers at Harvard Kennedy School’s Hauser Institute with funding from Swiss bank UBS, also found that resources were highly concentrated in certain areas with education the most popular area for investment globally.

That trend was best illustrated in the Kingdom, where education ranked first among the target areas of local foundations.

While the combined assets of the world’s foundations are estimated at close to $1.5 trillion, half have no paid staff and small budgets of under $1 million. In fact, 90 percent of identified foundations have assets of less than $10 million, according to the Global Philanthropy Report. 

Developed over three years with inputs from twenty research teams across nineteen countries and Hong Kong, the report highlights the magnitude of global philanthropic investment.

A rapidly growing number of philanthropists are establishing foundations and institutions to focus, practice, and amplify these investments, said the report.
In recent years, philanthropy has witnessed a major shift. Wealthy individuals, families, and corporations are looking to give more, to give more strategically, and to increase the impact of their social investments.

Organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have become increasingly high profile — but at the same time, some governments, including India and China, have sought to limit the spread of cross-border philanthropy in certain sectors.

As the world is falling well short of raising the $ 5-7 trillion of annual investment needed to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, UBS sees the report findings as a call for philanthropists to work together to scale their impact.

Understanding this need for collaboration, UBS has established a global community where philanthropists can work together to drive sustainable impact.

Established in 2015 and with over 400 members, the Global Philanthropists Community hosted by UBS is the world’s largest private network exclusively for philanthropists and social investors, facilitating collaboration and sharing of best practices.

Josef Stadler, head of ultra high net worth wealth, UBS Global Management, said: “This report takes a much-needed step toward understanding global philanthropy so that, collectively, we might shape a more strategic and collaborative future, with philanthropists leading the way toward solving the great challenges of our time.”

This week Saudi Arabia said it would provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid in Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The UAE also this week said it had contributed $192 million to a housing project in Afghanistan through the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.