EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ MENA program
Spanning 65 countries, the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ program identifies successful women entrepreneurs whose businesses show real potential to scale and provides them with the support, resources and access to help accelerate their growth.
Applications for the MENA program are now closed. Stay tuned for news about our EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women MENA Class of 2019.
To be eligible for this extraordinary opportunity, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Are founding CEOs (at least 51%) in a registered business
- Demonstrate passion to grow their business and scale up internationally
- Businesses that: Are at least 2 years old.
- Have annual revenues higher than USD 250,000.
- Are headquartered in MENA
What EY can do for you
Those chosen to join the Entrepreneurial Winning Women community in MENA will:
- Join an elite network of ambitious entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies.
- Become part of an exclusive global community of women founders who act as advisors and role models for one another.
- Participate in a customized executive mentorship program with year-round activities designed to accelerate sustainable business growth.
By applying for the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women program, you are applying for an executive mentorship program designed to support you in driving the acceleration and sustainable growth of your business. The selected women are welcome to remain engaged in Entrepreneurial Winning Women activities for as long as they benefit or until the program comes to an end.
Meet the 2019 Finalists to find out more.
Fatma A. Alkhoori
Founder & Managing Director MASKA, United Arab Emirates
Fatma is the Founder & Managing Director of MASKA, a Dubai-based contemporary gift-wrapping design studio & concept store, best known for its elegant reusable fabric wrappings.
Previously, Fatma served at the UAE’s Prime Minister’s Office, where she helped setup the Emirates Competitiveness Council and was involved in the review and development of various economic and social policies. Prior to that, at The Executive Office of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid, Fatma held the role of coordinator of the Government Leadership Program. She was also involved in the inception and incubation of a number of high-profile governmental initiatives.
Founder Hadeel Al Hassan LLC, Iraq
A woman who considered government employment to be too limited for her potential, no challenge would stand in her way to build one of the top law firms in Iraq and the region, while raising her two children on her own to become strong, successful, and independent. From daring to quit a steady job to get her second degree in law, to refusing her family's financial support after her husband's untimely death, to persevering through a military invasion and a civil war, Hadeel's achievement is a living proof that the combination of dedication, ambition, and vision is indeed the stuff dreams are made of.
HRH Princess Hala bint Khaled bin Sultan
Founder Burhan Almarifa, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
HRH Princess Hala bint Khaled bin Sultan is the Founder of Burhan Almarifa, a Saudi company focused on encouraging innovation and enabling research and development in the legal sector. She is Founder and Chairman of the Saudi Law Conference, Director on the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation’s board, ICC Young Arbitrators Forum representative for KSA, and legal advisor at Faisal Abu Khalaf Law Firm. She was a legal advisor at the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority’s Economic Cities Agency, has a BA in International Relations from Wellesley College and a Jurist Doctorate (JD) from Boston University School of Law.
Social Entrepreneur, Volunteer Circle, Lebanon/United Arab Emirates
Malak Yacout sees the world through the lens of a social entrepreneur. A storyteller at heart, she uses her experience in marketing and advertising to accelerate the growth of her latest social enterprise, The Volunteer Circle, where she is the Executive Director. As an AUB and Roger Hatchuel Academy alumna, she is passionate about channeling her business and creativity skills to mobilize the next generation towards active impact. She strives to gradually build a creative volunteering and skill-sharing culture that breaks barriers both on the map and in our minds.
Founder, CEO & Head of Design COÉGA Sunwear, United Arab Emirates
From Technician in the Canadian Air Force to Founder & CEO for COÉGA Sunwear; for 12 years Maureen specialized in aircraft repair during the day on military aircraft, while off-duty, sewing was her passion.
Moving to Dubai in 2000 with her family, the need for protective sunwear was clear & there’s been no looking back.
With an eye for detail, her hands-on approach & skills to spot trends Maureen has designed her way into more than 87 retail outlets, 13 waterparks and 14 online platforms across the GCC, Expo 2020 Dubai licenced supplier and now Disney collaboration.
CEO and founder PLAY Enterprises, Kuwait
Monira Al-Sabah is the CEO and founder of PLAY Enterprises, the leading chain of children’s playground and family entertainment centers in Kuwait established in 2009. Today PLAY operates 5 state of the art playgrounds across Kuwait with focus on safety and quality. she is also the co-founder of Trampo Extreme, Kuwait’s first trampoline park and adventure center. Trampo operates 3 branches in Kuwait and 4 branches across the GCC (Oman, UAE and Qatar)
Monira holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from Bentley University in Massachusetts, USA. She is a member of the worldwide Entrepreneurs Organization.
Dr. Vandana Gandhi
CEO & Founder British Orchard Nursery (BON) UAE and UK, United Arab Emirates
“I aspire to inspire my team of women and empower them to undertake further roles for the overall development of the women, society, education and the extended economy.”
Dr. Vandana Gandhi is the CEO & Founder of British Orchard Nursery (BON) UAE and UK, the only ISO 9001, 14001, 18001 certified to latest standards nursery chain in the Middle East. Her passion for education has driven her to earn a Mathematics honors degree, Post Graduate Diploma in International Business, distinction in Masters in Education from the UK, and Doctorate (Ph.D.) on leadership and quality in education and children’s learning from the University Of Birmingham, U.K.
Founder and Owner The Camel Soap Factory, United Arab Emirates
Stevi is the founder and owner of The Camel Soap Factory. The company was started with a mission to provide beautiful local hand-crafted products to tourists into the region. The business was started in 2011 with Stevi manufacturing the soaps at home and selling into markets and fairs. The company has grown substantially since then and is now an established brand with industrial premises in Dubai Silicon Oasis. Their products are available widely across the gulf and exported to a number of countries.
Stevi has been living in the UAE since 2002 and lives in Dubai with her husband and daughter.
Co-Founder and CEO Little Thinking Minds (LTM), Jordan
Rama Kayyali is co-founder and CEO of Little Thinking Minds (LTM), a leading MENA EdTech company. LTM develops digital learning platforms and resources for school-aged children to advance learning outcomes. Their flagship product I-Read-Arabic (launched in ‘16) is used by 250+ schools and 70,000 students. Rama is responsible for the management of the company leading its strategic direction, identifying new opportunities and expansion into new markets and segments. She holds a MA degree from American University, in Washington, DC. She is recipient of the Arab Women’s Award ‘16 & Jordanian Business Woman of the Year ‘17 (Bank Al Etihad). She is an Endeavor Entrepreneur and an Eisenhower Fellow.
Co-founder and CEO JUMAN para-Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics Factory, Jordan
Rasha is an entrepreneur pharmacist with a Master’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences and many years experience in the pharmaceutical industry and in formulation. In 2009, she established JUMAN factory to provide high quality innovative and potent cosmetic and para-pharmaceutical products. JUMAN succeeded in establishing itself as a leader in the field of private label manufacturing in Jordan with strong certifications and compliance with regulations, as well as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). Now, JUMAN exports more than 82% of its products to neighboring countries. In 2016, Rasha was awarded as Businesswoman of the Year from Bank al Etihad in Jordan. With her vision to capture the remarkable properties of the Dead Sea, the factory launched the natural JUMAN DEAD SEA line to offer a paraPharma beauty and skincare range that is now registered and sold in Europe, USA, and many other countries.
CEO and Projects Director Agon Academy, Jordan
With over 18 years of international experience in cGMP, GSDP and Quality Management Systems meeting the recent standards and global trends, dynamic consultant and trainer Yara Al Mouti has proven to be a resourceful consultant guiding and managing teams from various disciplines to achieve the best compliance status in any facility. Yara is a customer-oriented project manager who has ability to design and execute projects with the customer’s interests in mind. She has access to a network of the industry’s best experts, which allows her to achieve the best results in any project she engages in. Her extensive experience and ever-growing skills and knowledge make her an invaluable member of the Agon Academy team. Yara has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering
Founder and CEO Women’s Crisis Care International, Bahrain
Mary-Justine Todd, an international humanitarian expert, with more than ten years of experience, has a Master’s Degree in International Public Health, from New York University, as well as a Master’s of Arts in International Studies, from the University of Iowa. She focuses on refugees, women from under-privileged communities, post conflict zones, and humanitarian disaster areas. She is the founder and CEO of Women’s Crisis Care International, the first and only violence crisis intervention program in the Middle East. She has been working in humanitarian and health programs around the world from NYC, to Sub-Saharan Africa, to the Arabian Gulf.
CEO and Founder ASAP Beauty Salon, Kuwait
Majda is Kuwaiti entrepreneur who started her own business in 2008 in the beauty industry, a field she personally loves. She started with “ASAP”, a cozy ladies beauty salon in Kuwait and transformed this into to the leading “ASAP” trademark for hair and skin care products along with the ASAP beauty center, fully equipped with the most advanced machines on clinical levels and standards, accompanied with an expert team of international specialists with accredited certificates and highest training. Being the niece of HH Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad AlJaber AlSabah, Amir of the state of Kuwait, and the wife of Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Kuwaiti Army and son of Crown Prince Lt. Gen. Sheikh Abdallah Nawaf AlSabah, Majda was the first royal woman in the GCC who broke the ice between social media society and protocols by sharing a part of her personal life along with her experience in starting a business and running it successfully, along with marriage, kids, beauty, lifestyle tips, and social awareness, which made her one of the strongest social media female influencers in the region. Majda AlSabah is now a platform of credible information, with a huge number of followers (and counting) in just 2 years.
CEO and Founder Merit Incentives, UAE
A native of France, Julie began her career as a solicitor at the Paris Bar with some of Paris and London’s leading law firms & banks, specializing in finance law. After moving to Dubai in 2010, Julie refocused her career towards entrepreneurship, launching Merit Incentive’s innovative parent B2C gifting company, MyList, in 2012. In 2016, Julie created Merit Incentives, the first company providing gifts, rewards and engagement strategies to B2B clients using innovative technologies in the MENA region (gift registry, gift cards, merchandises, employee & customer rewards with over 400 retailers & service providers across 10 countries in MENA). Julie is the winner of French Creative Entrepreneur of the Year in 2016 and has been selected as one of the Top 12 up and coming companies in the Middle East by Forbes ME in 2018. Julie is a member of various networks, including French Founders, Dubai Business Women Council and French Business Council Dubai & Northern Emirates.
Founder Abjjad, Jordan
Eman is a passionate reader and in love with books. Her passion in this field drove her to create the first Arabic social reading platform, Abjjad, which was launched in 2013. The company has received strong interest from top investors, and has grown in record time. Before establishing abjjad.com, Eman’s career was focused on information technology (6 years) and marketing research (2 years). Her last job with KPMG, in marketing research and competitive intelligence for the Arabic region. She left this role to jump “all in” into her startup.
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