UAE women entrepreneurs break the glass ceiling

UAE women entrepreneurs break the glass ceiling
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Updated 25 March 2022

UAE women entrepreneurs break the glass ceiling

UAE women entrepreneurs break the glass ceiling
  • They are already turning the tide in several businesses, including F&B, beauty, and health

DUBAI: Women entrepreneurs in the UAE are creating ripples in the economy, empowering other women, and breaking stigmas by building thriving businesses in a male-dominated world.
One of the leading lights of this movement is UAE-based woman entrepreneur, the CEO and founder of Tashas Group, Natasha Sideris. A psychology student and a culinary specialist, Sideris has been spicing up the UAE’s food scene since 2005 when she launched the company.
The company owns four restaurant brands: Tashas, Flamingo Room by Tashas, Avli by Tashas and Galaxy Bar. These brands are guided by three core principles: Beautiful food, stunning environments and engaging service.
Sideris’s journey was nothing short of a miracle because she had no track record or proof of concept to claim while she was setting up shop and the lenders were generally hesitant to release funds. She persevered for 23 years and reached a position that inspires many other women to follow.
“We now have 21 restaurants across South Africa and the United Arab Emirates,” said Sideris while adding that it’s not an easy path for young women interested in business because of the long hours. Still, the industry is rewarding if one could break the glass ceiling. Sideris will soon be widening her circle of influence by launching her restaurants in Saudi Arabia.
In fact, Sideris is not the only one. Among the scores of women in UAE who successfully lead businesses and realize the full potential of their entrepreneurial dreams is a cancer survivor and immensely confident woman: Emaan Abbass, the CEO and founder of Ketish, a leading feminine wellness brand.
The company offers luxurious products that educate women, help them understand their bodies, and give them a sense of awareness, motivating women to open up and normalize the conversation around feminine health.
“While undergoing cancer treatment, I vividly remember scouring the pharmacies and drug stores because that’s the only place you could find anything connected to intimate care,” said Abbass, a lady who has made a name for herself after battling cervical cancer and hormonal problems throughout her 20s.
Her vision is as clear as her personality. When asked the reason to launch Ketish, she said: “I wanted to create the brand I wished I had throughout my journey. I wanted to create something that women like me always needed but never existed in this way.”
But her fight hasn’t been alone. She had tremendous support from fellow women, especially the female founders’ community that may be small but powerful and incredibly supportive.
“I see how essential it is for us women to have a seat at the table, a voice, the ability to create change within spaces and take on the issues we find important. I’ve also seen how important it is to leave the door open for women coming through behind us,” said Abbass.
Her words of advice to young women aspiring to be entrepreneurs: “Keep going and never lose sight of your mission. It’s really important never to lose sight of what anchors us as to our brand or our company.”
A hopeful development for all these women is the winds of change in the region. Women in the UAE are already turning the tide in several businesses, including F&B, beauty, and health. And entrepreneurs such as Sideris and Abbass are driving this change and creating equitable spaces for both men and women.


Consultancy agreement signed to launch Jordanian-Iraqi economic city

Consultancy agreement signed to launch Jordanian-Iraqi economic city
Updated 10 sec ago

Consultancy agreement signed to launch Jordanian-Iraqi economic city

Consultancy agreement signed to launch Jordanian-Iraqi economic city
  • Industries on the site will benefit from free trade agreements and have access to over 1bn consumers without customs restrictions

AMMAN: The Jordanian-Iraqi Industry Company and the Coalition for Engineering Consultancy have signed a contract for the provision of services for a Jordanian-Iraqi border economic city project, Jordan News Agency reported.

The engineering consultancy firm will be involved in all stages of finding a developer to carry out the project, including the creation of tender documents, according to the agreement. 

Following the signing ceremony, the company, which is owned by Jordan and Iraq, announced the start of administrative and procedural steps for the project. 

The economic city will strengthen Jordanian-Iraqi business cooperation, and spur development in western Iraq and eastern Jordan. 

The company said in a statement that industries operating in the economic city will benefit from free trade agreements signed by Jordan with many countries, and have access to more than 1 billion consumers without technical or customs restrictions.

It added that the project “constitutes an opportunity to build Jordanian-Iraqi economic integration in many fields, especially industrial ones.”

The joint economic city will be built on the Jordan-Iraq border, with both countries making land available for construction.

 


Bahrain-based Eat App raises $11m in a series B funding

Bahrain-based Eat App raises $11m in a series B funding
Updated 28 September 2022

Bahrain-based Eat App raises $11m in a series B funding

Bahrain-based Eat App raises $11m in a series B funding

RIYADH: Bahrain-based restaurant reservation platform, Eat App, raised $11 million in a series B funding round.

The funding round included venture capital firms MEVP, 500 Startups, Derayah VC, Dalah Albaraka, Ali Zaid Al-Quraishi and Brothers, and Rasameel Investment Company.

The firm seeks expand globally and invest in product development to support restaurants and guest experience.

“Looking back, the pandemic impacted Eat App greatly. While it caused a drop in revenue, it was also one of the largest accelerators of the business, as restaurants were forced to implement digital tools,” Nezar Kadhem, co-founder and CEO of Eat App, said in a statement.

Founded in 2015, Eat App currently operates in Bahrain, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Doha, with more than 800 restaurants on its platform.


Aramco’s Wa’ed Ventures leads French AI firm Alteia’s funding round

Aramco’s Wa’ed Ventures leads French AI firm Alteia’s funding round
Updated 28 September 2022

Aramco’s Wa’ed Ventures leads French AI firm Alteia’s funding round

Aramco’s Wa’ed Ventures leads French AI firm Alteia’s funding round

RIYADH: Alteia, a European artificial intelligence and industrial software company, announced that it closed its latest funding round led by Wa’ed Ventures, Saudi Aramco’s venture capital arm.

Alteia will utilize its funding to increase its presence in the Kingdom by opening an office in Dhahran to support companies in the region as well as invest in research and development.

“To have the world’s leading energy company invest in Alteia through its investment arm is a strong show of faith in our trajectory, and weighs in the value of contextualized, actionable visual data as the foundation to shape a more efficient, more sustainable industrial future,” Benjamin Benharrosh, co-founder of Alteia, said in a statement.


Egypt B2B marketplace Mazaya raises $5m in pre-seed round

Egypt B2B marketplace Mazaya raises $5m in pre-seed round
Updated 28 September 2022

Egypt B2B marketplace Mazaya raises $5m in pre-seed round

Egypt B2B marketplace Mazaya raises $5m in pre-seed round

RIYADH: Mazaya, an Egypt-based B2B e-commerce marketplace, raised $5 million in a pre-seed round, said a statement issued on Tuesday.

The funding round was led by financial investment firm Raya Trade and Distribution, it added.

The company will use the funds to boost its operation in Egypt as well as expand into new markets and other verticals.

“The funds raised will allow us to quickly scale our operations and expand to other markets beyond Egypt, we have plans to launch our services in Nigeria before this year-end,” Amir Aboul Fotouh, Mazaya co-founder, said.

The Mazaya App provides retailers and merchants of electronic goods and home appliances the ability to procure inventory for their stores from all major brands.

“The platform conveniently supports merchants, particularly small merchants who do not receive adequate services, with the ability to scale their business through a superior level of service and a wide range of electronic devices from all international and local brands at the click of a button,” Bassem Megahed, CEO of Raya Trade and Distribution, said in a statement.

The company also plans to offer financial services and support to their retailers by offering credit facilities and flexible payment options.


Russia to spend $55bn from rainy-day fund to cover 2022 budget gap

Russia to spend $55bn from rainy-day fund to cover 2022 budget gap
Updated 28 September 2022

Russia to spend $55bn from rainy-day fund to cover 2022 budget gap

Russia to spend $55bn from rainy-day fund to cover 2022 budget gap

MOSCOW: Russia plans to spend 3.19 trillion roubles ($54.62 billion) from its National Wealth Fund this year to cover its budget deficit, a draft budget published on the finance ministry’s website showed on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

In 2023, Russia intends to spend 1.95 trillion roubles on budget deficit financing from the NWF, a rainy-day fund made up of oil and gas revenues, and another 643.7 billion roubles in 2024.

The ministry intends to issue 2.5 trillion roubles worth of OFZ treasury bonds as it seeks to ramp up domestic borrowing in 2023, the document showed.

In 2024, the ministry plans to borrow 3.4 trillion roubles and another 3.4 trillion roubles in 2025.