Sharjah24: Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC), a NAMA Women Advancement affiliate, has facilitated seven aspiring female entrepreneurs to compete for funding for their innovative startup ideas under Pearl Quest, one of the most high-profile and intense pitching events open to women founders and entrepreneurs in the UAE.
The golden opportunity, offered by SBWC in collaboration with their dedicated Women in Business Supporters, will make it possible for women entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas and stand a chance to win substantial funding to start and/or grow their business.
The seven shortlisted entrepreneurs are currently receiving training at a Women Entrepreneurship Training Programme organised in partnership with PwC Academy.
All seven participating startups in Pearl Quest will have access to an idea validation bootcamp organised by the program’s Platinum Supporter, Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), in March 2022, while winners will be granted spots in the 2022 Sharjah Startup Studio (S3) program. Sheraa’s unique venture building program supports early-stage entrepreneurs by helping them validate their idea, build their product, and take it to the market. Bespoke support is offered in collaboration with corporate and government partners with deep industry expertise and experience. Amongst other benefits, all participants will also have access to Sheraa’s exclusive founder events and networking opportunities.
The final three winners will be selected by a panel of distinguished judges at the Pearl Quest pitch event, set to take place at Expo 2020 Dubai on February 8, 2022, at 11 am. The final verdict will be based on the originality of the idea, its sustainable social and environmental impact, and the functionality and ease of implementation.
SBWC Pearl Quest aligns with SBWC’s commitment to providing a broad range of services to its members, including the right training, mentoring and funding as well as a platform to showcase their ideas.
Sheikha Hind bint Majid Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC), said: “For two decades now, SBWC has been leading efforts to promote a culture of sustainable female entrepreneurship in the UAE in line with the vision of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah and Founder and patron of SBWC. Building on SBWC’s holistic approach of offering end-to-end support including valuable mentoring, training, and funding opportunities, the Pearl Quest reinforces our commitment to elevate the entrepreneurship skills of a new generation of women entrepreneurs and help bring their ideas to fruition.”
“The core partnerships formed with various government and private entities through Pearl Quest will further inspire, encourage and empower more women entrepreneurs realise their ambitions and advance their integration into the economy,” the SBWC Chairperson added.
The Pearl Quest is sponsored by several of SBWC’s Women in Business supporters including Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), Platinum Partner; BEEAH and the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Gold Partners, DiliTrust, Silver Partner, along with The Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP) and Jupiter Business Mentors , Advocate for Pearl Quest.
Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, said, “Our partnership with the Sharjah Business Women Council furthers our shared vision of fostering a supportive environment for innovative entrepreneurs. Through Pearl Quest, aspiring businesswomen will realise their dreams of building sustainable ventures. We are excited to welcome the program participants into the Sheraa community and look forward to closely working with the teams as they build the foundations of their business.”
“Sharjah has firmly established itself as a leading destination for creatives and changemakers, and initiatives like these provide a platform to showcase the exceptional talent currently thriving in our ecosystem. At Sheraa, we are committed to building and scaling ambitious startups. We believe in the transformative potential of entrepreneurs to solve global challenges and lead us into the future.”
Abdalla Sultan Mohammed Al Owais, Chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), emphasized that SCCI’s sponsorship for the Pearl Quest Competition aligns with its keenness on furthering the concerted efforts that aim to balance gender equity in the workplace, and increase Emirati businesswomen’s opportunities to achieve growth and economic empowerment through the development of their competitive capabilities and enabling them to steer the economic development process at the corporate level, under SCCI’s umbrella or at the local and federal levels in Sharjah and the UAE. HE said that the sponsorship is in line with the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, who has always believed in women’s capabilities and has been keen on supporting and empowering women, providing them with the ideal environment to become key effective partners in the national progress and sustainable development process.
Al Owais pointed out that the UAE has always been a leading country at the global level in terms of women’s economic empowerment. HE noted that the remarkable statistics indicate that there are 25,000 Emirati women entrepreneurs who own 50,000 trade licences valued at AED 60 billion. Hence is the importance of the Pearl Quest competition, dedicated to female entrepreneurs and UAE-based women-led start-ups, in bolstering women’s participation in economic activities. The Chairman of SCCI applauded the efforts of the Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC) in regard to supporting, empowering and enabling businesswomen to develop their projects and invest in the technological and creative industries across the UAE.
Hind Al Huwaidi, Director of Education at BEEAH said: “BEEAH firmly believes in the power of collaboration and partnerships. By working together, we can accelerate progress and achieve incredible things, and BEEAH is proud to be involved with this initiative. Sharjah is blessed to have so many incredibly talented, creative, entrepreneurial and forward-thinking women, and initiatives such as this not only empower and support those women in business, it also helps build a better future for everyone in the Emirate.”
DiliTrust, a technology solutions provider offering services in the areas of corporate governance is supporting Pearl Quest as a Silver Partner. DiliTrust serves over 1900 customers in more than 50 countries, supporting companies in terms of regulatory compliance, operational efficiency, transparency and legal and financial communication.
As Advocate Supporters, SRTIP will offer an exclusive discounted ‘Ladies First Package’ for the top two winners while Jupiter Business Metors will offer one-on-one business mentorship for the winner and first runner up.
February 06, 2022 / 3:32 PM
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