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SHERAA & SBWC Event offers valuable insights into women-led businesses in UAE

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SHERAA(Sharjah Entrepreneurship center), in collaboration with SBWC(Sharjah Business Women Council)  and Female Fusion, organized an event on March 8th, 2023, to celebrate International Women’s Day.

As part of the ‘Sheraa Community Talks’ initiative, the event which took place at the House of Wisdom in Sharjah, featured insightful speakers, interactive discussions, and networking opportunities aimed at helping women entrepreneurs build meaningful connections with other business owners.

The event entitled “Her Story: Celebrating Women Who Inspire” attracted women entrepreneurs from around the nation and gave attendees the opportunity to gain new insights and strategies for success as well as to celebrate the incredible achievements of women in business.

After a networking session where attendees had the opportunity to meet and connect with fellow business women, Iman Ben Chaibah, Maryam Bin Al Shaikh and Jen Blandos, representing Sheraa, SBWC, and Female Fusion respectively, then introduced their organisations and welcomed the attendees.

The founders’ one-minute spotlight was a unique segment of the event where nine entrepreneurs spoke about their newly found businesses and what they needed help with from the audience to support them. The session was facilitated by the three organisations who have also been instrumental in nurturing these nine founders and their emerging companies, and helped attendees understand the challenges faced by fellow entrepreneurs and how they could lend their support.

The highlight of the Women’s Day event was the panel discussion which featured two speakers from Sheraa, SBWC, and two from Female Fusion who were all dynamic entrepreneurs from diverse industries. Yasmine El Mouallem, founder of Maternally, passionately highlighted the crucial importance of maternal mental health and self-care material, and how her business seeks to fill the gaps in maternal mental health care, offering more focused support than generic social media and text groups. Dr. Muna Aldhabbah, founder of Halajary, shared her innovative vision of connecting people together and empowering women while fostering meaningful real-life relationships and supporting small businesses in local neighbourhoods.

The discussion was further enlivened by Yara Bin Shakar, owner of Yara Bin Shakar Label and cofounder of House of 45, sharing her experience as a fashion designer committed to creating sustainable clothing, offering valuable tips for starting a business, and highlighting the importance of communicating one-on-one with the market. Aya Assaf, co-founder of Koala Picks, captured the audience’s attention with her innovative approach to providing healthier snacks for children, stressing the need to think outside the box and to adapt to changing market demands.

Pamela Lilburne, CEO & founder of Linen Obsession — which supplies department stores with top brands and has recently launched their first flagship store — expressed a strategic and analytical mindset advising the audience to focus on solving problems and build lasting relationships with clients. Finally, Ferakh Lakhany, co-founder of Arabee, showcased her passion for education and data-driven strategy, sharing her experience creating an interactive learning platform for learning Arabic and collaborating with the UAE’s Ministry of Education to improve the standard of Arabic in schools. Her customer-focused approach, design thinking, and remarkable growth over the past 5 years to 50,000+ children demonstrated how her planning had paid off.

During the discussion the speakers shared their personal experiences, insights, lessons learned from their journey as entrepreneurs and explained how important it was to have organisations like Sheraa, SBWC and Female Fusion to guide and nurture them through developing a successful business. The collaboration between these three organisations showcased the power of unity and collaboration in supporting women entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams, showing them that they are not alone and that there is a supportive community out there to help them succeed.

The new ‘Sheraa Community Talks’ initiative of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa) recently hosted its first discussion at the House of Wisdom in Sharjah titled ‘How Padel Changed the Community’.

The talk brought together padel enthusiasts and club owners from across the UAE to share personal and professional experiences and insights on the many opportunities for physical development and social engagement this fast-paced, accessible and social sport can offer.

Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, said, “This first dialogue on the popular sport of padel has offered us a wonderful opportunity to discuss the impact of the sport on business owners, professional players of the sport as well as hobbyists, and on families and the community. Approximately a decade ago, Padel made its debut in the UAE, and since then, over 300 Padel clubs have emerged, effectively generating employment opportunities and highlighting the entrepreneurial mindset in our community to capitalise on an emerging sector and establish enterprises.”

Khalid Alshamsi, UAE national team player and Co-Founder of PadelPoint, said, “Padel is not just a sport, it’s a lifestyle that brings people together. It’s a unique blend of physical and mental challenges that constantly push you to be your best. I am proud to be a part of a community that is passionate about spreading the joy and excitement of Padel across the UAE and beyond.”

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