Mubasher: The proportion of female entrepreneurs across the region stabilised at 14% during the period from 2013 and 2018 despite the governments' initiatives to involve more females in the labour force, according to the 4th edition of the “State of Digital Investments in MENA 2013-2018” report by Arabnet.
The report, which is developed in partnership with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development (Dubai SME), revealed that Lebanon and Jordan continued to host the highest female participation at 20%.
This comes in comparison to countries such as Tunisia and Morocco which have seen the lowest female participation, recording 9% and 10%, respectively.
The number of deals involving at least one female founder has doubled during the past five years, equivalent to around one-fourth of the deals concluded.
This entails that female founders are “mainly more active” during the early stages of a business, with a contribution that mirrors what female entrepreneurs are actually facing in the present time across the globe.
Moreover, the disparity between male and female founders is now being reduced through initiatives and awareness campaigns by the private and public sectors alike.
Several UAE-based platforms help in securing funding among female-founded startups, including UAE’s Mindshift Capital which provides support at the post-seed stage and Womena which promotes MENA-based female entrepreneurs through connecting them to investors.
As for the public sector initiatives, Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC) offers customized online and onsite training, coaching, and mentoring to female entrepreneurs through its Women Enterprise Development Virtual Academy.
“The Women Entrepreneurship Summit MENA is an event for women entrepreneurs across the MENA region to interact, network, share their thoughts, and learn about access to capital, finding the perfect mentor, understanding the regulatory and legal landscape among others,” the report added.