The Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC), one of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment’s (NAMA) entities, sponsored four of its members to showcase their startup businesses at STEP 2018, one the region’s most experiential entrepreneur events.With a focus on technology, the business owners at the STEP Start Conference highlightedthe latest innovations in their products and services, with the aim of attracting regional investors and potentially finding their next partner.More than 250 startups attendedSTEP 2018, that took place at Dubai Internet City onMarch 28-29, and showcased a vast range of businesses from financial and marketing technology to artificial intelligence andsmart apps.The SBWC participation aimed athelpingthe sponsored start-ups build a network with potential associates, meet other service providers,and gain access to coaching and mentorship opportunities.It also provided the start-ups the opportunity of being chosen to participate in the conference’s flagship pitch competition, where a select number of companies gotto present their businesses to leading investors and industry experts.The pitch competition hadtwo stages, the first of which involves 30 startups giving a two-minute pitch to convince the panel of experts that they should advance. Out of the 30,only five finalists were chosen to deliver a seven-minute pitch. This is followed by a pitch analysis, hosted by Wamda Capital, where five-minutes of expert feedback given to each of the finalists.
Sheikha Hind Bint Majid Al Qassimi, Acting Chairperson of Sharjah Business Women Council, SBWC, said: “By participating in this event, Sharjah Business Women Council has given these four women entrepreneurs the chance to make significant strides in promoting their companies and highlightingtheir ability to innovate in an increasingly technology-driven commercial world.“As more women are working towards being successful business owners, SBWCworks on ensuring they are equipped with the right tools and knowledge to be able to compete in market and contribute to the economy. We also work on providing them with networking and growth opportunities, as well as exposing them to the latest market trends.” The UAE-based SBWC members taking part in the conference are: Emirati Dr. Mariam Abdulla Ketait, whose company “Al Rowaiha” supplies wellbeing products, and fashion entrepreneur KhawlaJaber, with her “april_collection_uae” startup. Sara Ramadan, from Egypt,will be showcasing her hi-tech company “PharmaVgate”, the first virtual academy dedicated to educating and training pharmacists. Finally,HaninHazeem, from Jordan, is participating with “JuxtaPiece”, a start-up that creates bespoke, eco-friendly craftwork and provides an online platform for art related products.Starting its journey in 2002, Sharjah Business Women Council aims to drive women entrepreneur’s integration into the global economy, support economic output of the nation, and social development of the Emirate of Sharjah.To achieve this aim, SBWC engages in delivering a range of programmes and initiatives including conferences, seminars, workshops and research that supports potential and existing entrepreneurs in Sharjah. It also forges partnerships with government, private organisations and foundations in the UAE and beyond.