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Technology-Based 
Entrepreneurship 
Manal Assaad 
@TheManalyst
Outline 
• Introduction 
• Stats & Trends of Arab Women Entrepreneurship 
• Challenges of Arab Women Technology-Based 
Ent...
The Manalyst 
An independent social media strategist, consultant and trainer, with experience in public 
relations, commun...
Introduction 
Technology-based Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurs whose business 
depend on technology for development and su...
Stats and Trends 
• Women make up half of university attendees in the MENA region but are 
only 21 per cent of the workfor...
Stats and Trends 
• For every woman running a business, over 6 women intend to start a 
company; compared to only 2.5 men ...
Challenges 
CULTURAL STEREOTYPES & PRESSURES
Yasmine El-Mehairy 
Co-founded the parenting website Supermama with Zeinab Samir in 2011. She faced many negative cultural...
Challenges 
FUNDING & FINCANCING
Hanan Khader 
Programmer and mommy of 3, launched Aqar-estate.com in 2008, a real estate digital platform for the MENA, wh...
Challenges 
NEED FOR WOMEN-FOCUSED STARTUPS SUPPORT NETWORK
May Attari 
Palestinian student who co-founded Fadfid, an online psychotherapy platform that connects patients seeking exp...
Drivers 
WOMEN UNEMPLOYMENT ISSUES
TasneemSalim 
Programmer & gamer, co-founded the world’s biggest and Saudi’s first girls-only yearly gaming convention and...
Drivers 
WORKING FROM HOME/FLEXIBLE HOURS
Duna AlSiyari & Hussa AlShamran 
Two college students who kickstarted the eCommerce site Qurtsyah in 2012 as the first in ...
Drivers 
LOW COSTS/BARRIERS TO ENTRY
Farihan Amin 
A stay-at-home mom, launched her first business a year ago, baking cake and selling it using Instagram & Wha...
What can YOU do? 
DRIVING CHANGE & OVERCOMING CHALLENGES…
Parents 
Raise girls to overcome negative stereotypes by encouraging them to explore their interests in a gender-neutral 
...
Educators 
Encourage female students to aspire for an education & career in tech by nurturing and developing their 
innate...
Business Owners/Entrepreneurs 
Share your experience and knowledge, support others’ entrepreneurial activities/intentions,...
Community 
Support them, enable them, encourage them, share their stories, give them feedback…
Connect. Share. Inspire! 
@TheManalyst 
Manal.Assaad@themanalyst.com 
www.TheManalyst.com
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Arab Women and Technology based Entrepreneurship

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On September 23rd, I spoke at The Arab Women In Leadership & Business Summit in Dubai about technology-based entrepreneurship. In the 2-day event, I sat among the audience, of mostly women, listening to their stories, questions, concerns, and most of all... complaints, such as the lack of role models in our Arab community... And that is what I aimed to prove wrong through my presentation. You can read the details in my blog post:
http://www.themanalyst.com/blog/arab-tech-women-entrepreneurs

Published in: Business
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Arab Women and Technology based Entrepreneurship

  1. 1. Technology-Based Entrepreneurship Manal Assaad @TheManalyst
  2. 2. Outline • Introduction • Stats & Trends of Arab Women Entrepreneurship • Challenges of Arab Women Technology-Based Entrepreneurship • Drivers of Arab Women Technology-Based Entrepreneurship • Driving Change & Overcoming Challenges of Arab Women Technology-Based Entrepreneurship
  3. 3. The Manalyst An independent social media strategist, consultant and trainer, with experience in public relations, communications, branding, marketing, and advertising.
  4. 4. Introduction Technology-based Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurs whose business depend on technology for development and survival. They can be tech-developers who develop a unique technology to drive business, or tech-users who take advantage of technology to meet a market need.
  5. 5. Stats and Trends • Women make up half of university attendees in the MENA region but are only 21 per cent of the workforce (Middle East Monitor; November 2013) • 35% of entrepreneurs in the Middle East are women (Economist; July 2013)
  6. 6. Stats and Trends • For every woman running a business, over 6 women intend to start a company; compared to only 2.5 men for every male entrepreneur, in the MENA (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2012 Women’s Report)
  7. 7. Challenges CULTURAL STEREOTYPES & PRESSURES
  8. 8. Yasmine El-Mehairy Co-founded the parenting website Supermama with Zeinab Samir in 2011. She faced many negative cultural stereotypes as a single woman entrepreneur but was positive about the startup ecosystem in Egypt being more supportive than it is in the West, and was able to secure funding as bias towards male founders was not yet apparent. Middle East Monitor
  9. 9. Challenges FUNDING & FINCANCING
  10. 10. Hanan Khader Programmer and mommy of 3, launched Aqar-estate.com in 2008, a real estate digital platform for the MENA, which was a challenge in a male-dominated industry that she had to finance herself until she secured seed investment from Oasis500. 2 years ago, she started HelloWorldKids, teaching programming to kids and inspiring them to be tech entrepreneurs. (Personal Interview)
  11. 11. Challenges NEED FOR WOMEN-FOCUSED STARTUPS SUPPORT NETWORK
  12. 12. May Attari Palestinian student who co-founded Fadfid, an online psychotherapy platform that connects patients seeking expert psychological advice to specialists across the Arab world, after having enrolled at Qiyadat, a local leadership program, to find an innovative solution using technology to solve pervasive problems in society. Arabnet
  13. 13. Drivers WOMEN UNEMPLOYMENT ISSUES
  14. 14. TasneemSalim Programmer & gamer, co-founded the world’s biggest and Saudi’s first girls-only yearly gaming convention and community in Riyadh. In Saudi, where gender segregation poses a challenge in the workforce, that consists only 20% of women, gaming is a powerful option for those who prefer flexible hours and working from home. Wamda
  15. 15. Drivers WORKING FROM HOME/FLEXIBLE HOURS
  16. 16. Duna AlSiyari & Hussa AlShamran Two college students who kickstarted the eCommerce site Qurtsyah in 2012 as the first in Saudi to sell stationary online. They face difficulties with payment methods, but are determined on growing their business to the GCC, and continue to apply their college learnings to practical business experience and starting their own line of Arabic-style stationary. AlEqtisadiah
  17. 17. Drivers LOW COSTS/BARRIERS TO ENTRY
  18. 18. Farihan Amin A stay-at-home mom, launched her first business a year ago, baking cake and selling it using Instagram & Whatsapp as she found it to be cheap, easy and time-saving. Although it was a challenge for her to keep up with technology & learn how to leverage it, it has enabled her, and many other women like her, to secure income with her skills & talents through technology. (Personal Interview)
  19. 19. What can YOU do? DRIVING CHANGE & OVERCOMING CHALLENGES…
  20. 20. Parents Raise girls to overcome negative stereotypes by encouraging them to explore their interests in a gender-neutral environment, and learn tech skills from a young age. Resources: Scratch; Hackety; Khan Academy; Code.org; Tahrir Academy; The Little Engineer
  21. 21. Educators Encourage female students to aspire for an education & career in tech by nurturing and developing their innate skills, and using educational technology to teach and inspire them. Resources: Khan Academy; Code Academy; TechGirls; EdSurge
  22. 22. Business Owners/Entrepreneurs Share your experience and knowledge, support others’ entrepreneurial activities/intentions, and welcome opportunities to mentor and guide women with entrepreneurial activities/intentions. Resources: Wamda Mix n’ mentor; Arabnet; Wamda 4 Women; Linkedin Groups
  23. 23. Community Support them, enable them, encourage them, share their stories, give them feedback…
  24. 24. Connect. Share. Inspire! @TheManalyst Manal.Assaad@themanalyst.com www.TheManalyst.com

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