WOMENA’s First Angel Series Workshop  

On February 20th, we hosted our first Angel Series workshop at our ecosystem partner in5. This is the first in an extended series of workshops designed to educate both entrepreneurs and investors on angel investment. The goal of the programme is to have participants finish with the skills and knowledge to start their investment or fundraising journey.

Our very own Chantalle kicked off proceedings with her talk “The Basics of Angel Investing” where she delved into the foundations of angels and angel investing. Ritesh Tilani, Managing Director of Innoventa, gave the talk “What makes a good startup” followed shortly by Shaheeda Abdul Kader, Strategy Advisor at iChanical and Investment Advisor, and her talk “Demystifying Due Diligence”.

We are phenomenally grateful to Ritesh and Shaheeda for giving such excellent talks and our ecosystem partner in5 for hosting us! You can find more photos on our Facebook page.

Details for the next Angel Series workshop will be released shortly. Stay tuned!

What resources are there for entrepreneurs in the Middle East?  

There has been an explosion in entrepreneurship in the Middle East in the last five years and this has corresponded with an increase in the number of organisations supporting entrepreneurship. These include incubators, coworking spaces, incubators and angel groups like WOMENA.

At WOMENA, we’ve been trying to track this growth to ensure that we know as much as possible going on in the region. To that end, we’ve created a document for Middle East-based entrepreneurs listing a variety of resources across the region. It’s very much a work in progress and there are still a lot of resources to add.

We wanted to get your thoughts though: is it useful? How can we make it more useful? What else should we include? Would you rather the resources are broken down by country than by type? We always love to hear from you so add a comment below or email us!

The road to parity: Understanding gender diversity in the UAE  

Gender equality is a hot topic with many reports, publications and news articles on the issue (and quite rightly so). The more conversations about this key issue in the public domain the better as it will lead to change. The conversations are now global and are taking place within the UAE and Middle East, which is a further promising sign.

It was timely then to see Naseba and the Ministry of the Economy jointly present “The road to parity: Understanding gender diversity in the UAE”. We highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in gender equality in the UAE as it’s an excellent read with some interesting insights into the progress women are making in the region. It follows the Global WIL Economic Forum that took place in Abu Dhabi on November 2nd and 3rd 2015 as part of the Women in Leadership Series. There numerous excellent discussions and panels for attendees to join and we look forward to attending 2016’s event.

The report shows that while there has been progress, there is still a lot of progress to be made. What struck us was the sometimes stark difference in the opinions between men and women on opportunities for women, particularly in regards to entrepreneurship and sitting on a board. While 74% of men thought women were given the same chance as men to become an entrepreneur, only 44% of women did. It shows to us at WOMENA there is a gap between men and women that needs to be bridged for full equality to take place.

There is a lot of interesting insights and analysis displayed in an easy to read format. We encourage you to read it and share your opinions in the comments below!

Community Membership  

As WOMENA has grown we’ve been energised and strengthened by the support we’ve received from the various investors, venture capital firms and investor groups we have spoken with. During these conversations we realised that the services we offer to our members are also valuable to institutional investors. With that in mind, we have developed our community membership package and we are excited to share with you the details today!

So what are the features of the community membership package?

  • Access to all of WOMENA’s pitch meetings and educational workshops
  • Access to all of our due diligence reports
  • The ability to close rounds via syndication, resulting in a stronger negotiating position

The due diligence reports are particularly valuable to any VC or investor that wants a second opinion or look at a company they are already interested in. Our reports are very extensive and have been described as “Series B quality” to a leading venture capitalist in the Middle East. We look at all aspects of a business including the financials, the competitive landscape and the management.

We believe the VCs that will benefit the most from our community membership package are those who:

  • Want to further impact the entrpreneurship community
  • Want to contribute to regional economic development by investing in local-stage companies
  • Want to help create an inclusive ecosystem
  • Want to help create an ecosystem to foster the growth of your own organisation or firm
  • Are interested in considering companies in WOMENA’s pipeline for WOMENA investment

If you would like more information about our community membership package, we would love to hear from you and please email us at [email protected].

January Pitch Meeting  

Our 2016 pitch meetings kicked off on January 25th at our ecosystem partner in5 in Dubai. And what a start it was! Four great companies pitch and saw both new and old faces.

Women Investing in Women Digital is a global digital media platform focused on the economic empowerment of women and girls

MrDraper is the first personalised men’s shopping service in the Middle East and hand pick outfits for men based on their preferences

BEEM is a mobile app that allows you to find and book a salon appointment anytime, anywhere

JustMop is an online on-demand platform that connects individuals with cleaners. Invitees can use the promo code WOMENA for a discount on the service ahead of the Pitch Meeting

To view pictures of the event, check out the photos on our Facebook page!

Thank you to everyone who came and we look forward to seeing you again at our next pitch meeting on March 23rd!