$10,000 equity-free prize money awaits winning women’s startup

Female owned startups get a chance to pitch their business, get coached and compete for the prize money at this global level competition.

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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The Dubai Chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) is offering a prize money of $10,000 (Dh367,300) to women entrepreneurs, in North Africa and the Middle East, who can make the best pitch for their businesses. The finale will be held in December at the TiE Global Summit, Dubai.

A 2019 report by event organizer Arabnet and Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for Dubai SME found that only 14% of the 1,400 startups founded in the MENA region last year were by women. The MENA region also has the largest gender gap (a whopping 40%) in the established business ownership. But it is heartening to note that the highest women’s entrepreneurial intentions (36.6%) were also reported in the same region.

“According to research reports, just one in seven investments in the Arab World go into female-founded businesses, we all recognize the challenges women face when accessing funding and financial support.”
Ziad Matar, President – TiE Dubai

“There is so much untapped potential in the Arab World and by empowering women to go into business and rewarding aspiring female leaders, we will ensure global economic gains and a competitive knowledge economy in line with UAE’s 2021 Vision,” added Matar. “By bringing together a global network of entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, and a prize money pool of $100,000, we will provide a unique launch pad for the winners.”

Those who are interested to participate can submit their online application for Women TiE competition from June 1st to August 1st at bit(dot)ly/2Xj62AI. The business must be a registered company and must be established for 7 years or less. It must be led or co-led by a woman and a female senior executive must lead the pitch. The startups can participate in the early stage or later stage categories.

The competition will be conducted in three stages. On August 31, 20 finalists will be selected to take part in the online pitch. An independent jury of entrepreneurs, corporate leaders and investors will then shortlist 3 startups in September. They will receive a three month locally run accelerator program including personalized mentorship and coaching. The one business shortlisted out of them will participate in the global competition and stand a chance to win an equity-free $10,000 and investor support.

Even during these tough times, the competition shows that “organizations are still actively supporting and investors and sponsors are still willing to support the right causes, and it’s not all doom and gloom”. TiE is looking forward to a healthy competition and rewarding exceptional female entrepreneurs” said Mr. Matar.