Fifth TiE Women MENA: Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in the Region

Fifth TiE Women MENA: Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in the Region

By Press Release, 15 May 2024

Applications are open until June 1st, 2024, inviting women-led ventures to demonstrate their innovation and business savvy to join a powerful network of changemakers.

The Dubai chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) has officially launched the fifth annual TiE Women MENA Program 2024, an empowering initiative designed to support and elevate women entrepreneurs across the MENA region. The program expands its reach to include 5 categories UAE, Emirati, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the rest of the Middle East, underlining its commitment to fostering gender parity in entrepreneurship in line with government efforts.

The competition kicks off with an application phase open until June 1st, 2024. Through several rounds of screening, an unbiased jury with TiE Dubai Charter members will select the top innovative ideas from each of the five categories. The selected finalists will showcase their ventures in five rigorous pitch competitions. The winners of these competitions prep for the MENA finals, previously hosted at the North Star Expand at GITEX. At every stage, the program will include mentorship sessions with renowned and experienced industry leaders, financial advisory services, strategy coaching, workshops on practical business planning, an online global accelerator program and tips to nail the perfect investor pitch. The competition will conclude with the Global Finals in December 2024.

World Bank stated that women entrepreneurs had equal access to finance, and the growth of the companies could generate a $5-6 trillion expansion in global GDP. Additionally, nearly half of the women in the UAE alone face significant barriers in accessing capital, with 8 out of 10 women tapping into their personal savings. This highlights the essential role of initiatives like The TiE Women MENA Program, which offers funding, mentorship, and community support for entrepreneurs of all industries.

Rohit Dev, President at TiE Dubai stated: "Through time, entrepreneurs have been the biggest changemakers and have contributed tirelessly to the world economy, progress, and human sustenance. Despite this, women-led businesses in the region make up less than 5% of all businesses and 2023 saw a significant drop in fund-raising for these companies. For over 21 years, TiE has promoted entrepreneurship in the UAE, and since 2020, its TiE Women MENA initiative has been empowering female entrepreneurs. Supporting regional governments' mission to increase female business owners, we aim to equip women founders with the tools, knowledge, and networks necessary to thrive in today’s competitive business environment."

The program seeks to create equal opportunities for women entrepreneurs to excel and contribute significantly to their economies. This year's theme continues to highlight the role of women in business, with a focus on nurturing their skills through a structured framework. Participating startups undergo several stages of development, from initial application, through intensive 1:1 mentorship, to pitching their ideas in front of a seasoned panel of judges at the MENA and Global finals.

Being a mission-driven organization TiE Women MENA Program 2024 works with over 15 accelerators, incubators, VC funds, and members of the angel investor community in the startup ecosystem to harness each other’s strength and specialities to uplift women entrepreneurs. Some partners include in5, DBWC, Flat6labs (MENA), Plug and Play, StartAD, Wamda, Female Angels 2022, AngelSpark, Astrolabs (Saudi), LIVINC (Jordan), Women Spark (Saudi).

TiE charter members like Ashish Panjabi, CEO, Jacky’s Electronics; Mahesh Jaishankar, Head of Strategic Negotiations MENA, Google; and Sanjay Babur, Founder of; Veena Munganahalli, serial entrepreneur and investor; Shabana Karim – Founder/CEO of House of Enspa and Shameema Parveen CEO of Edutech are some of the judges for the program.

Global and regional winners will receive prizes and recognition for their accomplishments. In the past, winners have received equity-free cash prizes of up to $50,000 at the Global finals and up to $25,000 at the MENA finals in Dubai, and have gone on to achieve much more. Last year’s UAE winner was Lara Hussein, Co-founder & CEO of The Waste Lab, dedicated to transforming food scraps and waste into compost for the regeneration of soil. After her win and mentoring journey with TiE Women MENA she has gone on to garner more accolades and wins including at COP28, SEF by Sheraa etc. The TiE Women 2023 Emirati winner was IZI Health from Abu Dhabi, an integrative preventive care, that offers high end technological solutions to doctor’s consultations, healthy meal planning, fitness training and holistic medicine. Besides TiE Women’s support along with her Emirati win, she has been selected for other programs by ADIO and the STARTAD in her entrepreneurial journey.

The other region’s winners were Playbook from Saudi Arabia who also won runner up position at the TiE Women Global Finals in Singapore, Warrd from Egypt and Khateera from Rest of ME.

Women founders or co-founders from any industry who hold at least 33% equity, either individually or jointly, in businesses up to seven years old that operate from or for the MENA region are encouraged to apply. Application details and submission can be accessed through the official TiE Dubai website,, with an easy-to-use QR code also available for direct access.


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