AboutHer.com lists top 50 Saudi female athletes

Updated 28 November 2018
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AboutHer.com lists top 50 Saudi female athletes

Last year, as part of Saudi Arabia’s drive to encourage more female participation in sports and develop a more inclusive sports environment in the country, the Kingdom appointed Princess Reema bint Bandar to head the Saudi Federation for Community Sports (SFCS), making her the first woman in the Kingdom to take on such an important role. Since then, Saudi Arabia has been witnessing the rise of the female athlete in all areas, from football to motorcar racing, kickboxing to scuba diving. To mark this transformative period in Saudi Arabia’s history, particularly in the field of sports, lifestyle portal AboutHer.com has put together a list of top Saudi female athletes from across the Kingdom. 

The top 50 list, which celebrates the Kingdom’s most inspiring female sports figures, has been compiled by a panel of experts in the field. It comprises a wide range of Saudi female role models such as: Norah Almarri, the first taekwondo athlete to represent Saudi Arabia in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta; Kariman Abuljadayel, a sprinter who became the first Saudi woman to compete in the 100-meter race at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Mariam Fardous, the first Arab woman and third woman in the world to dive at the North Pole.

The decision — and consequent initiatives being taken — to actively integrate Saudi women into sports has been credited to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his push to realize the objectives set under Vision 2030, an ambitious plan that aims to transform the Kingdom, a key part of which involves reforms targeted toward improving the lives of women. 

Following the crown prince’s ascension to power last year, Saudi Arabia has assigned women to top leadership positions, reformed different facets of its legal structure to give women more rights, created opportunities across various sectors for women, and is transforming its public sphere to be more accommodating to women. In 2017, Saudi Arabia allowed female fans to attend sports event in public stadiums for the first time, underscoring the country’s wider efforts to grant women more public visibility. 


360-degree mentoring to boost Saudi social enterprise sector

Updated 23 May 2019
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360-degree mentoring to boost Saudi social enterprise sector

The King Khalid Foundation (KKF) and Mowgli Mentoring have collaborated to strengthen the growing social enterprise sector in the Kingdom through the provision of 360-degree mentoring, which will support the personal and professional development of social entrepreneurs. The EMCC-accredited mentoring organization is working to built the capacity of Saudi mentors by instilling best mentoring practices and sharing experiences from its 10-year work around the world.

Globally, the concept of social entrepreneurship is increasingly gaining momentum and positive attention as it combines commerce with social good, allowing entrepreneurs to go beyond profit to positively impact communities and societies. Supporting these entrepreneurs, therefore, is in line with the KKF’s vision, which is to have a Saudi society with equal opportunities.

The KKF’s collaboration with Mowgli resulted in the creation of the Athar (Impact) Mentoring Program.

This program aims to build and increase the capacity of Saudi mentors, and equip them with the necessary tools to be able to provide mentorship, support and guidance to social entrepreneurs in the Kingdom. Matching mentors with social entrepreneurs and managing their mentorship relationships is a key benefit of the program.

To commence the mentoring program, Mowgli recently delivered a four-day workshop in the KKF premises in Riyadh. Fourteen professionals and business leaders received training to be 360-degree mentors before being matched with 14 social entrepreneurs. Both groups were provided with the guidelines to build solid foundations for their 1-2-1 mentoring relationships. In addition, the matched pairs will be supported over a duration of six months, during which structured on-going support will be provided to ensure that trust-based and impactful mentoring relationships are developed.

Mowgli Mentoring’s CEO Kathleen Bury said: “We see this program supporting the three themes on which the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 was built upon: Developing a vibrant society, a thriving economy and an ambitious nation. By supporting social entrepreneurs, we’re working toward achieving the Kingdom’s economic aspirations of increasing SME GDP contribution by 20–30 percent by 2030. We are, therefore, excited to be back in Saudi Arabia and are honored to be working with the King Khalid Foundation in delivering this program, and building Saudi Arabia’s mentoring capacity to sustainably support change-makers and their surrounding ecosystems for years to come.”

The key to developing entrepreneurship and fostering economic development lies in having a well-balanced ecosystem with equal investment in four key pillars: Environment (schooling, parenting), finance (working capital, debt and equity financing), infrastructure (incubators, accelerators, utilities and sound legal frameworks) and human capital development (mentoring, skills and knowledge development). Mowgli supports the latter and has successfully delivered more than 110 mentoring programs across the Middle East, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.