Thrift for Good's Founder Receives a $50,000 Grant from She's Next
Jennifer Sault, the Founder of Thrift for Good, a charitable shop in Dubai focused on rehoming preloved items to support children's charities globally, has won the second She's Next grant program for the UAE, hosted by Visa and First Abu Dhabi Bank.
Reported by Mokshita P. for SME10X, Sault's woman-owned small business will receive a $50,000 grant, a year of business coaching from the International Trade Centre (ITC), affiliated with the United Nations and the World Trade Organisation, and $3,000 in Amazon Web Services (AWS) credits.
The coaching, provided by the ITC SheTrades Initiative, aims to empower Jennifer and enhance her business.
A diverse group of applicants from various sectors, including textiles, education, food and beverage, professional services, beauty, and wellness, participated in the She's Next program.
A panel of esteemed experts, including individuals from First Abu Dhabi Bank, Forbes Middle East, Visa, Dubai Holding, She Trades, and AWS, carefully evaluated the entries.
They assessed the applicants based on criteria such as their entrepreneurial journey's progress, business metrics, digital presence, and problem-solving abilities.
Additionally, for the first time, the program introduced the "People's Favourite" award, determined by online voting, which recognized Nada Alawadhi, the Founder of The Bookshelf, with a cash prize of US$10,000 for her innovative bilingual book subscription service for children.
Sustainability has become a key focus for women entrepreneurs in the She's Next program, with a significant number adopting environmentally responsible practices such as waste reduction, product recycling (45%), and reduced plastic usage (51%).
A Visa-sponsored SMB Digitisation Index revealed that 100% of surveyed women entrepreneurs in the GCC recognize the growing importance of sustainability in today's business landscape.
The She's Next initiative has provided these entrepreneurs with valuable insights from female leaders, educational resources, and training opportunities.
This also includes access to AWS Connected Community and the ITC SheTrades Initiative's "Elevate Your Business" program.
Visa and ITC are also committed to offering one-on-one advisory support to 30 finalists, empowering them to enhance their business and financial strategies.