DIFC and The European Women’s Association Sign Agreement to Connect UAE and European Women Entrepreneurs
"We, as entrepreneurs, need to continuously explore opportunities and the right ecosystem for our businesses. Considering that culture has an important role to play, we value and leverage the trusted network of people who support and empower women economically,” says Mihaela Tudor, EWA Country Leader, awarded serial entrepreneur, communicator and journalist with more than 15 years of experience.”
Dubai, UAE; 26 October 2022: The European Women’s Association (EWA), a global platform that empowers female founders by establishing a strong and safe foundation for women-led projects and initiatives, and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, signed an agreement at the "Demystifying Innovation and Access to Funding” event during DIFC Open Finance Week on 27 September 2022. The agreement constitutes the foundation for connecting women entrepreneurs from Europe and the UAE.
EWA is a reputable name within the business community and has a strong ecosystem of founders, corporate partners and public institutions. Its partners include the European Commission, the executive of the European Union (EU); Deloitte, a leading global provider of audit and assurance, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax and related services; UPS, a multinational shipping and receiving and supply chain management company; and multinational technology companies, Microsoft and Google, along with several VC funds. EWA is a fast-growing global network of 50,000 women in business, represented by country leaders in 15 countries. These leaders are women entrepreneurs who run successful businesses, have trust in their communities and share EWA’s vision. In the last one year, with the support from EWA, more than 100 European female entrepreneurs have visited the UAE to explore the market.
Yulia Stark, President of EWA, said: "The European economic crisis has pushed women to diversify and expand their businesses to new regions. Thanks to our strategic partners, we have been successful in helping women to set up their businesses in the UAE. Depending on their needs, we also help them with fundraising and local strategic partnerships. The Ministry of Economy has been a great supporter of our organisation, ensuring that our scale-ups get the right legal and financial support. Our next step is to set up a VC fund and invest in scalable projects under the EWA Invest structure.”
A recent study by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), UN’s specalised agency that aims to promote world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences and culture, indicates that 61 per cent of science, technology, engineering and mathematics graduates in the UAE are women. Another study indicates that 34 per cent of the region’s tech-focused start-ups are founded by women. On the other hand, data shows that only 15 per cent of innovative start-ups in the EU are founded or co-founded by women, and a mere 6 per cent have all-women founding teams. With the steady increase in women’s representation in tech companies, it is expected that one in four leadership positions will be held by women in the near future.
Dr. Tarek Hajjiri, Commissioner of Intellectual Property (IP) at DIFC, said: "DIFC is pleased to sign an agreement with the EWA, which focuses on women entrepreneurs and their empowerment. The UAE, Dubai and DIFC continue to lead the way in the region for equality in business, which is a factor that attracts women entreprenuers to explore the business potential of the region from here.”
"We, as entrepreneurs, need to continuously explore opportunities and the right ecosystem for our businesses. Considering that culture has an important role to play, we value and leverage the trusted network of people who support and empower women economically,” says Mihaela Tudor, EWA Country Leader, awarded serial entrepreneur, communicator and journalist with more than 15 years of experience.
EWA has also signed MoUs with other important institutions, such as the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park.
Facts about women empowerment and gender equality in the UAE:
- The UAE was ranked number one among the Arab countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2022.
- The UAE has also taken steps towards gender equality and established the UAE Gender Balance Index, developed in line with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) criteria and international best practices.
- The Gender Balance Guide – the first of its kind in the world – was published by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an international organisation that works to build better policies for better lives. The guide lays out the roadmap for the UAE and its organisations to harness the untapped potential that women represent.
According to the UNICEF Human Development Report for the year 2022, UAE ranks 26th worldwide in the Human Development Index, ahead of countries, such as Spain, France and Italy. At the same time, the region of Arab States ranks number one amongst the list of developing regions when it comes to the development of human rights.