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Thursday, 12 December 2019

Leading female entrepreneurs in MENA speak of purpose-driven businesses, challenges in Dubai panel

Menna Alaa El-Din , Wednesday 17 Apr 2019
Female entrepreneurs in AWS Summit
Female entrepreneurs speaking during the women in Tech panel titled Scaling Purpose-Driven Businesses during AWS's Dubai Summit (Photo: Menna Alaa El-Din)
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Leading female entrepreneurs operating in the Middle East spoke of their purpose-driven businesses in the region, exchanging insights into evolving technology, during a panel held on the sidelines of the Amazon Web Services Summit in Dubai.

On Wednesday, five businesswomen sat for a discussion of their journeys, sharing with the audience their hopes and dreams in the next phase of growth, in a panel organised by Womena and AWS.

The entrepreneurs included founder and CEO of Ureed Nour Al Hassan, co-founder and head of stakeholder engagement and communication at Little Thinking Minds Lamia Tabbaa, co-founder and COO of The Tempest Mashal Waqar, co-founder and CEO of Nabta Health Sophie Smith, and co-founder and CEO of Now Money Katherine Budd.

The female business leaders agreed that technology was growing through personalisation, providing their journeys in focusing on women’s health, education, and others through their businesses.

“Technology allows you to address education in ways that traditional education can’t tackle [in terms of teaching style, etc],” said Tabbaa, the co-founder of Little Thinking Minds.

The edtech startup, which is based in Amman, serves as an educational technologies and products provider for school-aged children in the Middle East and North Africa through online Arabic literacy solutions and platforms for educational institutions, teachers, and students.

The co-founder of Nabta Health, a hybrid healthcare platform for women using artificial intelligence, Sophie Smith, said that technology is generally now seen as a vital utility like electricity.

“There is a misconception between non-tech businesses and others; we are in a business that focuses on improving people’s outcomes,” Smith said.

She also tackled the challenges of businesses today, which give more data on her business, which provides traditional and digital support to women, which mirror the concerns and challenges that accompany important events, including fertility, pregnancy and menopause.

The five women agreed that it was a constant challenge for businesses to remain unaffected, as investors seek growth and profit.

“It’s a constant struggle, investors want growth and profit, while you have to keep up with your numbers: How do we scale it without hurting the business?” said Nour Al Hassan, the founder of Ureed, a platform for delivering freelance services in translation among other services.

Mashal Waqar, the co-founder of The Tempest, which identifies itself as the global next-generation women’s media company, said such a battle was why it is important to get the right investors on board.  

 

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