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Women rocking the tech
world in the Middle East
Aurélie SALVAIRE
@asalvaire
#shiftbalance
The World's Leading
Technology Educator
Pia Mancini: an example of a
woman changing the world
through technology
Argentina’s Pia Mancini is using technology to
destroy barriers between politicians and
people around the world
• DemocracyOS providesa platform for citizens to engage with politics away from
those outdated structures. When a new piece of legislationis brought to congress in
Argentina DemocracyOS is used to immediately translate and explain it in plain
language. Citizens are also able to discuss and directly “vote” on these new bills
using the site or desktop app.
• Just two years after it was created, the platform is already being used by the federal
government in Mexico to gather feedback on policy proposals, and by an NGO
called iWatch to give voice to the Tunisian public in political decision-making.
• Her newest project, Democracy.Earth, launched last month and centres on smart
contract technology, computer protocols that automatically execute the terms of a
contract and will allow decentralised governance of any organisation – from cities to
corporations; student unions to football teams.
And actually the Middle East
is Beating Out the World in
Female Tech Entrepreneurs!
35% of tech entrepreneurs in the
Middle East and North Africa
(MENA) region are women, a
surprising statistic, considering
the global norm of 10%.
Why?
• Working in tech still allows women to conform with
traditional social norms.
– “Running an internet start-up from home is the perfect compromise.”
• The virtual nature of the internet creates a safe
haven.
– More meritocratic than corporate world.
• Women's own determinationand drive are what
spurs them on, and what ultimately makes them
succeed.
– Sarah Abu Alia, founder of ArtMedium, an online concert organizer,
says, "As a woman, you have to fight for everything here — which is
great preparation for being an entrepreneur.”
In the innovation-driven Middle East economies,
women are proportionately more likely to have
opportunity motives
• In the Middle East, a preliminary
survey of seven universities in
countries including Palestine, the
UAE and Saudi Arabia by Sana
Odeh, clinical professor of computer
science at New York University,
found 30-70% of the enrollees in
computer science programs were
women.
Who are these women?
A few examples…
Egypt - Samira Negm
• The entrepreneurs behind Raye7, a phone app setting out to be the Middle
East’s next Blabla Car, were recognised as the world’s second best mobile
startup at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
• Samira Negm and her brother Ahmed Negm, who was featured among
CairoScene’s 25 entrepreneurs under 25 last August,co-founded the
carpooling application in 2014.
UAE - Hebah Fisher
• Hebah Fisher and the team behind Kerning Cultures, a weekly podcast of
entrepreneurship, philosophy, culture, history, arts, and technology stories from the region,
have decided to utilise the power of the radio to present a new, more positive narrative of
the Middle East.
• Since September 2015, the main aim of their podcast stories has been to show the depth
the region’s societies have to offer.
• The first story series focuses on entrepreneurship across the region, describing the
personal experiences of starting and growing companies in Lebanon, Egypt, and the UAE.
• Distributed in partnership with egyptianstreets.com, the series share individual stories of
entrepreneurs, as well as contemplate how national dynamics such as revolutions, border
conflicts, infrastructure, bureaucracy, stability and instability alike affect the start-up
landscapes.
UAE - Thea Myrvold
• Teach Me Now started
from the idea that
anyone should be able
to learn or teach online,
and that modern
technology could help
make education
accessible and easy.
Teach me now
Being half Arabic, her goal has always been to be a
part of the growth and development in the region.
As a woman and a teacher, her dream is to
contribute to world wide educational reform, by
breaking down barriers to learning and improving
how we transfer and understand knowledge.
At 21, Thea created one of the first gamified apps
for high school students for Economics. Her
passion continued to develop through her
teaching. This lead her to create her third venture
at 23, a global platform for personalised learning
through TeachMeNow.com.
TeachMeNow.com is a global marketplace
for one to one learning in real time. An
alternative to current online solutions,
TeachMeNow offers live and interactive
classes with the teacher or tutor of your
Rebranded for schools and governments
Will be launched in Arabic in 2016.
Working with 5 government projects including
Syrian Refugee Support.
Microsoft Partnered.
Founder TeachMeNow.com Highlights
Being half Arabic, her goal has always been to be a
part of the growth and development in the region.
As a woman and a teacher, her dream is to
contribute to world wide educational reform, by
breaking down barriers to learning and improving
how we transfer and understand knowledge.
M: 00971555445320 E: thea@teachmenow.com
Webster University Geneva, Switzerland
2008- 2011,
BA in International Relations, Economics
and Psychology.
References available upon request
At 21, Thea created one of the first gamified apps
for high school students for Economics. Her
passion continued to develop through her
teaching. This lead her to create her third venture
at 23, a global platform for personalised learning
through TeachMeNow.com.
Skills: Startups, Funding, Female
leadership, Edtech, Gamified
Content, mentorship, Speaking,
Educational apps,
Cloud Saas, Marketplaces, Community
building, and Education.
Languages: English and Norwegian
Fluently, Intermediate French, Sweedish.
TeachMeNow.com is a global marketplace
for one to one learning in real time. An
alternative to current online solutions,
TeachMeNow offers live and interactive
classes with the teacher or tutor of your
choice for students as young as 6 years old.
Boasting 1000+ tutors, teachers and Ivy
League graduates from around the world.
Rebranded for schools and governments
Will be launched in Arabic in 2016.
Working with 5 government projects including
Syrian Refugee Support.
Microsoft Partnered.
Award winning speaker, top 100 leaders under
30 featured in Huffington Post, Entrepreneur,
Arabian Business.
Founder TeachMeNow.com Highlights
UAE - Leila Ben Gacem
• SOUGHA is a social enterprise initiative and launched by Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, aimed at
creating opportunities for unemployable or difficult to employ Emiratis with entrepreneurial potential.
• In addition, it seeks to preserve the Emirati heritage through headhunting skilled local crafts men and women all
over the UAE, and then improve their technical and entrepreneurial skills to enable them to seize market
opportunities.
• Sougha is the best source for Emirati hand-made products, from local artisans from all over the UAE. At Sougha
we work hard to improve the livelihood of the Emirati artisans, to preserve the Emirati heritage on one hand and
to improve the socio-economic status of self-employed talented artisans in opportunity deprived locations.
• At Sougha we are very selective and ensure that products are made of suitable raw material and crafted
responsibly. All Sougha sales income is returned to artisans, and surplus earned is used to train new artisans by
providing tools and raw materials.
UAE - Rama Chakaki
• Syrian Rama Chakaki is the
founder of BarakaBits, a “good
news from Middle East” news
site with a long-term focus on
staying sustainable.
• The site’s content covers an
array of social and cultural
topics, raging from music
education to gaming
development.
Egypt - Yasmine El-Mehairy
• Egyptian Yasmine El-Mehairy foundherself frustrated that there was no
online platforms that resonated with many mothers in the Middle East.
• So she created the pan-Arab parenting site SuperMama, which offers an
array for information from pregnancy tips to cooking videos.
• El-Mehairy made sure that SuperMama is in Arabic and written and
produced by Arabs.
Lebanon- Hind Hobeika
• She founded Instabeat, one of
the most promising startups out
of the Middle East.
• Based in Lebanon, Instabeat
monitors swimmers’ heart rates.
• She conceived the idea while
training for the American
University in Beirut’s swimming
team.
Egypt- Rana el Kaliouby
• Kaliouby founded MIT startup Affectiva in 2011 to help
computers more accurately read facial gestures.
• Its applications go far and wide: wearable technology,
advertising, and polling just to name a few.
Lebanon- Loulou Khazen Baz
• Having foundedthe MENA’s first freelance
marketplace to provide a solution for the growing
unemployment challenges back in 2012,Loulou
Khazen Baz, founder of Nabbesh.com, has now
set her eyes on creating virtual jobs for young
people in Palestine.
• Partnering with Qatar-based social imitative
Silatech, Nabbesh has launched Fursati,
meaning ‘my opportunity’, a pilot social
programme to connect Gulf-based businesses
with qualified Palestinian freelancers.
Palestine- Christina Ganim
• Kenz, meaning treasure in Arabic, is
run by women, for women.
• Kenz is a a fashion-forward online
lingerie store for the Middle East, an
e-commerce startup selling lingerie
to women in the region.
Jordan - Rola Fayyad
• Rola Fayyad is the founder & CEO of Friendture, an app
that allows you to create and manage your social
activities, with family and friends, in one central location.
• She previously co-foundedMICEit, an events booking
engine for the MENA region, accelerated by Oasis 500.
• In 2014, Rola was selected top 10 innovativestartups in
the Gulf region, by Hadafi women entrepreneurship
competition, and followed to be their ambassador.
• She serves as a founding member for Girls in Tech –
JordanChapter, which is focused to empower, engage
and educate women in the technology sector.
Lebanon - Layal G. Jebran
• GM & CEO of Running Cycling Circle, the first bicycle delivery service in Lebanon
• Recovering architect and designer, turned Social Entrepreneur, Layal founded her first successful
startup by the name of "Lyl Big Designs" during university years, that connected freelance
designers to clients, at the moment advising several young entrepreneurs and early stage
startups while co-founding and managing “moubarmij.com” a coding online school in Arabic for
free.
• Started PiC, an NGO which was among the final 20 out of 394 worldwide initiatives, at the Hivos
Social Innovation Award in the Netherlands. Nominated for becoming an Ashoka Fellow in the
Summer.
• Former Lead of the Projects Management Department at Zoomaal Inc., Crowdfunding Expert in
the MENA region. Curator of Startup Weekend Beirut.
Palestine - Lama Mansour
• The founders, business
development
consultant Lama Mansour
and engineer Ismat Tuffaha,
are both 22 years old and
both Palestinian.
• Bold Knot Is A Top-Up
Charger Built By A Startup
From The West Bank.
Jordan - Afnan Ali
• Eureka Tech Talk ignites spark
for tech and entrepreneurship
in Jordanian kids.
• Eureka, according to Ali, aims
to make learning about tech
and innovation a fun and
inclusive affair.
Jordan - Ola Doudin
• Ola is cofounder of BitOasis, a bitcoin
consumer wallet and instant exchange
focused on cash-based emerging
markets.
• BitOasis aims to change the way
people transact and send money by
making it easy and secure to use
bitcoin.
• Ola is also co-founder of Yellow, a
bitcoin payment processor, and
currently serves as an advisor.
Jordan - Sima Najjar Hijjawi
• Ekeif.com produces ‘how-to’ videos in Arabic tailored
to the Arab world.
– How to teach people to do things in a language that is not their
own?
– As a user of the countless Internet ‘how-to’ videos, the majority of
which are in English, Sima Najjar decided to provide the answer –
in more ways than one.
– She created Ekeif.com, a video-content website for short, quality
presentations in Arabic, keif meaning ‘how’.
Jordan - Eman Hylooz
• Abjjad provides an online and mobile social network for readers,
authors and publishers of Arabic literature.
• Abjjad – which is the first four letters of the original Arabic alphabet
– is an Arabic literature catalogue available via the Internet and a
mobile application.
• The platform allows users to share their favourite publications
through reviews and ratings, writers can meet their fan base and
publishers have the opportunity to boost their digital marketing.
Layla El Zeyn
• Founder of Elymu
• A transformational learning platform,
ELYMU promotes its proprietary research-
based education frameworks with offline
programs and online SaaS tools.
Jordan - Noor El-Fadl
• Noor El-Fadl’s website tasmeem
Middle East, is the first online
networking site for creative talents
in the Middle East, and has been
voted best internet startup in the
region, by public and expert
judges, at the ArabNet 2010
conference held in Beirut from
March 25-26.
UAE - Mona Ataya
• Mona Ataya is proving to be one of the UAE’s most prominent of women
entrepreneurs.
• The co-founder of Bayt.com, arguably the most successfulonlinesearch
engine for jobs in the Middle East, is now working to disrupt the well-
ingrained retail space in the UAE with the goal of assisting mothers with
their maternity, infant and childcare product needs.
• Ataya’s latest venture is Mumzworld, a rapidly growing e-commerce
website through which customers now have access to a comprehensive
catalog of thousands of childcare and maternity-related items from
hundreds of world-class brands, ranging from the likes of Baby Einstein to
Fisher Price.
Egypt- Rania Badr El Din
• Mother-to-be Egypt is a private
organization providing essential, up-to-
date information to families throughout
Egypt under the brand name Mother &
Child.
Lebanon - Rima Al-Sheikh
• Rima Al Sheikh is the co-founder and Chief
Technology Officer of the Middle East’s first virtual
skills marketplace, Nabbesh.
• She is also the CEO and co-founder of Mokus.io,
an online product agency, with a mission to give
business the opportunity to build beautiful and
high-performing online experiences by deploying
the most robust and proven, leading edge
technologies in the fields of behavioural
psychology, customer analytics and web
engineering.
Egypt - Yasmin Helal
• Througha grass-roots community-based and community-drivenmodel, Educate-
Me serves underprivileged communities witha visionof giving every child the
knowledge, skills and attitudes that enables him/her to have the freedom and
opportunity to aspire to their dreams.
• She was also a professional basketball player at Gezira club and the Egyptian National
team, where her journey included more than 38 medals.
Morocco - Yasmine El Baggari
• Yasmine El Baggari has launchedVoyaj, an online platform
that serves as the intersection where technology and
personal interaction meet.
• Voyaj matches hosts and travelers worldwide to provide
meaningfulexchanges, opening hearts and minds. The
Voyaj mission is to build relationships between like-minded
people who believe one-on-one relationships can lead to a
more peaceful world. Matches are based on common
interests and values, and curiosity about other cultures and
locations.
• Voyaj matches travelers and hosts who want to sharean
authenticexperience.
UAE - Iba Masood
• Co-founder, Gradberry.com, a web-based careers portal
tailored specifically to their young graduates needs.
• What makes it special? ‘We exclusively post internships
and vacancies for students and fresh graduates with
zero to two years of experience,’ says Iba, 22, a very
recent graduate herself. ‘It saves wasting time applying
for “graduate” jobs that actually want people with four
or five years of experience.
Palestine - Abeer Abu Ghaith
Branded Palestine’s first female high-tech entrepreneur.
Staylinked: Interface between Palestinian freelancers and
businesses from all over the world that need to
outsource certain services.
Within the list of 100 most powerful Arab Women.
Gaza - Mariam Abu Itawi
Mariam Abu Eatewi’s Wasselni, called
“the Uber of Gaza,” makes it easier
to carpool in Palestine by
connecting passengers and drivers
through their website and mobile
app.
One of the missions of Wasselni is to
provide women with a safe means of
transportation.
What about the ecosystem?
A few examples…
Glowork KSA: First female
recruitment Gulf
Women VCs: Hala Fadel and
Noor Sweid
• With their VC firm Leap Ventures, Hala and Noor
are looking to provide some big ticket
investments for startups in the ICT sectors, and
by default, they are also providing the second.
• Including Sweid and Fadel, there are four female
VCs in the Middle East. The other two
are Salaam Saadeh of Active-M and Neveen El
Tahri who founded Delta Inspire and 138
Pyramids.
• That may not seem like a lot, but comparatively
it’s not bad. In 2014 Fortune magazine found that
just over four percent of partner-level VCs in the
US were women.
Salwa Katkhuda
• Salwa is the Program Manager of TechWadi's Sprint Business Accelerator in Silicon Valley, where
she builds tailor made programs for promising Middle Eastern technology startups looking to grow
in the US market.
• Prior to joining Sprint, Salwa was a founding member of Oasis 500, the first seed acceleration and
investment program for early stage startups in the MENA. She held the position of Investment
Manager at Oasis 500, where she was responsible for recruiting and investing in early stage
technology startups. Salwa worked with companies during the acceleration program to reach proof
of concept and prepared them for follow on funding from angel investors and venture capital funds.
Salwa has worked with more than 1,500 entrepreneurs, invested in more than 70 startups from
across the MENA region and directly helped companies raise more than USD 18M in follow on
funding since 2011.
Nina Galbraith Curley –
Breakthrough
• Nina Curley is co-lead at Breakthrough, an initiative in partnership with the Dubai
Businesswomen Council, designed to enable the environment and mindset
necessary for gender balance in business across the Middle East, through
specialized workshops, masterminds, executive coaching, and events that focus
on leadership as well as hard skills such as financial literacy.
• Previously, she ran Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi, an accelerator program for technology
startups focused on digital content and media, and prior to that, she served as
the Editor-in-Chief of Wamda, a platform for empowering entrepreneurs, where
she covered startup news across 19 markets and helped to mentor and support
startups across the MENA region.
• During that time, she launched Wamda for Women, an initiative to support female
founders.
• With a background in cognitive neuroscience and decision-making, she is
passionate about enabling a sense of autonomy, purpose, creativity, and
sacredness in others to support self-actualization.
The first accelerator in Gaza
Saudi Girls Revolution Game
• Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the heroines of SGR are a badass group of
Saudi women who come together in a government enforced camp. Rising
out of this brutality the women build and race suped-up motorcycles.
• Their mission; to fight the evil tyrannical rulers of the corrupted Arabian
Empire.
Bahraini Esra’s Al-Shafei is a leading Internet
activist in the Middle East
• She requested not to show her face publicly for security reasons due to the
Bahraini government’s restrictions on media and political freedoms.
• Now based in Bahrain, she is the founder of Migrant-Rights,which works
to improve conditions for domestic workers around the Middle East.
• Al-Shafei also created CrowdVoice.org,a crowdsourcing platform for
gathering information on protests.
Women rocking the tech world in the Middle East

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Women rocking the tech world in the Middle East

  • 1. Women rocking the tech world in the Middle East Aurélie SALVAIRE @asalvaire #shiftbalance
  • 3. Pia Mancini: an example of a woman changing the world through technology
  • 4. Argentina’s Pia Mancini is using technology to destroy barriers between politicians and people around the world • DemocracyOS providesa platform for citizens to engage with politics away from those outdated structures. When a new piece of legislationis brought to congress in Argentina DemocracyOS is used to immediately translate and explain it in plain language. Citizens are also able to discuss and directly “vote” on these new bills using the site or desktop app. • Just two years after it was created, the platform is already being used by the federal government in Mexico to gather feedback on policy proposals, and by an NGO called iWatch to give voice to the Tunisian public in political decision-making. • Her newest project, Democracy.Earth, launched last month and centres on smart contract technology, computer protocols that automatically execute the terms of a contract and will allow decentralised governance of any organisation – from cities to corporations; student unions to football teams.
  • 5.
  • 6.
  • 7.
  • 8. And actually the Middle East is Beating Out the World in Female Tech Entrepreneurs!
  • 9. 35% of tech entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are women, a surprising statistic, considering the global norm of 10%.
  • 10. Why? • Working in tech still allows women to conform with traditional social norms. – “Running an internet start-up from home is the perfect compromise.” • The virtual nature of the internet creates a safe haven. – More meritocratic than corporate world. • Women's own determinationand drive are what spurs them on, and what ultimately makes them succeed. – Sarah Abu Alia, founder of ArtMedium, an online concert organizer, says, "As a woman, you have to fight for everything here — which is great preparation for being an entrepreneur.”
  • 11. In the innovation-driven Middle East economies, women are proportionately more likely to have opportunity motives • In the Middle East, a preliminary survey of seven universities in countries including Palestine, the UAE and Saudi Arabia by Sana Odeh, clinical professor of computer science at New York University, found 30-70% of the enrollees in computer science programs were women.
  • 12. Who are these women? A few examples…
  • 13. Egypt - Samira Negm • The entrepreneurs behind Raye7, a phone app setting out to be the Middle East’s next Blabla Car, were recognised as the world’s second best mobile startup at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. • Samira Negm and her brother Ahmed Negm, who was featured among CairoScene’s 25 entrepreneurs under 25 last August,co-founded the carpooling application in 2014.
  • 14. UAE - Hebah Fisher • Hebah Fisher and the team behind Kerning Cultures, a weekly podcast of entrepreneurship, philosophy, culture, history, arts, and technology stories from the region, have decided to utilise the power of the radio to present a new, more positive narrative of the Middle East. • Since September 2015, the main aim of their podcast stories has been to show the depth the region’s societies have to offer. • The first story series focuses on entrepreneurship across the region, describing the personal experiences of starting and growing companies in Lebanon, Egypt, and the UAE. • Distributed in partnership with egyptianstreets.com, the series share individual stories of entrepreneurs, as well as contemplate how national dynamics such as revolutions, border conflicts, infrastructure, bureaucracy, stability and instability alike affect the start-up landscapes.
  • 15. UAE - Thea Myrvold • Teach Me Now started from the idea that anyone should be able to learn or teach online, and that modern technology could help make education accessible and easy.
  • 16. Teach me now Being half Arabic, her goal has always been to be a part of the growth and development in the region. As a woman and a teacher, her dream is to contribute to world wide educational reform, by breaking down barriers to learning and improving how we transfer and understand knowledge. At 21, Thea created one of the first gamified apps for high school students for Economics. Her passion continued to develop through her teaching. This lead her to create her third venture at 23, a global platform for personalised learning through TeachMeNow.com. TeachMeNow.com is a global marketplace for one to one learning in real time. An alternative to current online solutions, TeachMeNow offers live and interactive classes with the teacher or tutor of your Rebranded for schools and governments Will be launched in Arabic in 2016. Working with 5 government projects including Syrian Refugee Support. Microsoft Partnered. Founder TeachMeNow.com Highlights Being half Arabic, her goal has always been to be a part of the growth and development in the region. As a woman and a teacher, her dream is to contribute to world wide educational reform, by breaking down barriers to learning and improving how we transfer and understand knowledge. M: 00971555445320 E: thea@teachmenow.com Webster University Geneva, Switzerland 2008- 2011, BA in International Relations, Economics and Psychology. References available upon request At 21, Thea created one of the first gamified apps for high school students for Economics. Her passion continued to develop through her teaching. This lead her to create her third venture at 23, a global platform for personalised learning through TeachMeNow.com. Skills: Startups, Funding, Female leadership, Edtech, Gamified Content, mentorship, Speaking, Educational apps, Cloud Saas, Marketplaces, Community building, and Education. Languages: English and Norwegian Fluently, Intermediate French, Sweedish. TeachMeNow.com is a global marketplace for one to one learning in real time. An alternative to current online solutions, TeachMeNow offers live and interactive classes with the teacher or tutor of your choice for students as young as 6 years old. Boasting 1000+ tutors, teachers and Ivy League graduates from around the world. Rebranded for schools and governments Will be launched in Arabic in 2016. Working with 5 government projects including Syrian Refugee Support. Microsoft Partnered. Award winning speaker, top 100 leaders under 30 featured in Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Arabian Business. Founder TeachMeNow.com Highlights
  • 17. UAE - Leila Ben Gacem • SOUGHA is a social enterprise initiative and launched by Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, aimed at creating opportunities for unemployable or difficult to employ Emiratis with entrepreneurial potential. • In addition, it seeks to preserve the Emirati heritage through headhunting skilled local crafts men and women all over the UAE, and then improve their technical and entrepreneurial skills to enable them to seize market opportunities. • Sougha is the best source for Emirati hand-made products, from local artisans from all over the UAE. At Sougha we work hard to improve the livelihood of the Emirati artisans, to preserve the Emirati heritage on one hand and to improve the socio-economic status of self-employed talented artisans in opportunity deprived locations. • At Sougha we are very selective and ensure that products are made of suitable raw material and crafted responsibly. All Sougha sales income is returned to artisans, and surplus earned is used to train new artisans by providing tools and raw materials.
  • 18.
  • 19. UAE - Rama Chakaki • Syrian Rama Chakaki is the founder of BarakaBits, a “good news from Middle East” news site with a long-term focus on staying sustainable. • The site’s content covers an array of social and cultural topics, raging from music education to gaming development.
  • 20.
  • 21.
  • 22. Egypt - Yasmine El-Mehairy • Egyptian Yasmine El-Mehairy foundherself frustrated that there was no online platforms that resonated with many mothers in the Middle East. • So she created the pan-Arab parenting site SuperMama, which offers an array for information from pregnancy tips to cooking videos. • El-Mehairy made sure that SuperMama is in Arabic and written and produced by Arabs.
  • 23. Lebanon- Hind Hobeika • She founded Instabeat, one of the most promising startups out of the Middle East. • Based in Lebanon, Instabeat monitors swimmers’ heart rates. • She conceived the idea while training for the American University in Beirut’s swimming team.
  • 24. Egypt- Rana el Kaliouby • Kaliouby founded MIT startup Affectiva in 2011 to help computers more accurately read facial gestures. • Its applications go far and wide: wearable technology, advertising, and polling just to name a few.
  • 25. Lebanon- Loulou Khazen Baz • Having foundedthe MENA’s first freelance marketplace to provide a solution for the growing unemployment challenges back in 2012,Loulou Khazen Baz, founder of Nabbesh.com, has now set her eyes on creating virtual jobs for young people in Palestine. • Partnering with Qatar-based social imitative Silatech, Nabbesh has launched Fursati, meaning ‘my opportunity’, a pilot social programme to connect Gulf-based businesses with qualified Palestinian freelancers.
  • 26. Palestine- Christina Ganim • Kenz, meaning treasure in Arabic, is run by women, for women. • Kenz is a a fashion-forward online lingerie store for the Middle East, an e-commerce startup selling lingerie to women in the region.
  • 27. Jordan - Rola Fayyad • Rola Fayyad is the founder & CEO of Friendture, an app that allows you to create and manage your social activities, with family and friends, in one central location. • She previously co-foundedMICEit, an events booking engine for the MENA region, accelerated by Oasis 500. • In 2014, Rola was selected top 10 innovativestartups in the Gulf region, by Hadafi women entrepreneurship competition, and followed to be their ambassador. • She serves as a founding member for Girls in Tech – JordanChapter, which is focused to empower, engage and educate women in the technology sector.
  • 28. Lebanon - Layal G. Jebran • GM & CEO of Running Cycling Circle, the first bicycle delivery service in Lebanon • Recovering architect and designer, turned Social Entrepreneur, Layal founded her first successful startup by the name of "Lyl Big Designs" during university years, that connected freelance designers to clients, at the moment advising several young entrepreneurs and early stage startups while co-founding and managing “moubarmij.com” a coding online school in Arabic for free. • Started PiC, an NGO which was among the final 20 out of 394 worldwide initiatives, at the Hivos Social Innovation Award in the Netherlands. Nominated for becoming an Ashoka Fellow in the Summer. • Former Lead of the Projects Management Department at Zoomaal Inc., Crowdfunding Expert in the MENA region. Curator of Startup Weekend Beirut.
  • 29. Palestine - Lama Mansour • The founders, business development consultant Lama Mansour and engineer Ismat Tuffaha, are both 22 years old and both Palestinian. • Bold Knot Is A Top-Up Charger Built By A Startup From The West Bank.
  • 30. Jordan - Afnan Ali • Eureka Tech Talk ignites spark for tech and entrepreneurship in Jordanian kids. • Eureka, according to Ali, aims to make learning about tech and innovation a fun and inclusive affair.
  • 31. Jordan - Ola Doudin • Ola is cofounder of BitOasis, a bitcoin consumer wallet and instant exchange focused on cash-based emerging markets. • BitOasis aims to change the way people transact and send money by making it easy and secure to use bitcoin. • Ola is also co-founder of Yellow, a bitcoin payment processor, and currently serves as an advisor.
  • 32. Jordan - Sima Najjar Hijjawi • Ekeif.com produces ‘how-to’ videos in Arabic tailored to the Arab world. – How to teach people to do things in a language that is not their own? – As a user of the countless Internet ‘how-to’ videos, the majority of which are in English, Sima Najjar decided to provide the answer – in more ways than one. – She created Ekeif.com, a video-content website for short, quality presentations in Arabic, keif meaning ‘how’.
  • 33. Jordan - Eman Hylooz • Abjjad provides an online and mobile social network for readers, authors and publishers of Arabic literature. • Abjjad – which is the first four letters of the original Arabic alphabet – is an Arabic literature catalogue available via the Internet and a mobile application. • The platform allows users to share their favourite publications through reviews and ratings, writers can meet their fan base and publishers have the opportunity to boost their digital marketing.
  • 34. Layla El Zeyn • Founder of Elymu • A transformational learning platform, ELYMU promotes its proprietary research- based education frameworks with offline programs and online SaaS tools.
  • 35. Jordan - Noor El-Fadl • Noor El-Fadl’s website tasmeem Middle East, is the first online networking site for creative talents in the Middle East, and has been voted best internet startup in the region, by public and expert judges, at the ArabNet 2010 conference held in Beirut from March 25-26.
  • 36. UAE - Mona Ataya • Mona Ataya is proving to be one of the UAE’s most prominent of women entrepreneurs. • The co-founder of Bayt.com, arguably the most successfulonlinesearch engine for jobs in the Middle East, is now working to disrupt the well- ingrained retail space in the UAE with the goal of assisting mothers with their maternity, infant and childcare product needs. • Ataya’s latest venture is Mumzworld, a rapidly growing e-commerce website through which customers now have access to a comprehensive catalog of thousands of childcare and maternity-related items from hundreds of world-class brands, ranging from the likes of Baby Einstein to Fisher Price.
  • 37. Egypt- Rania Badr El Din • Mother-to-be Egypt is a private organization providing essential, up-to- date information to families throughout Egypt under the brand name Mother & Child.
  • 38. Lebanon - Rima Al-Sheikh • Rima Al Sheikh is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of the Middle East’s first virtual skills marketplace, Nabbesh. • She is also the CEO and co-founder of Mokus.io, an online product agency, with a mission to give business the opportunity to build beautiful and high-performing online experiences by deploying the most robust and proven, leading edge technologies in the fields of behavioural psychology, customer analytics and web engineering.
  • 39. Egypt - Yasmin Helal • Througha grass-roots community-based and community-drivenmodel, Educate- Me serves underprivileged communities witha visionof giving every child the knowledge, skills and attitudes that enables him/her to have the freedom and opportunity to aspire to their dreams. • She was also a professional basketball player at Gezira club and the Egyptian National team, where her journey included more than 38 medals.
  • 40. Morocco - Yasmine El Baggari • Yasmine El Baggari has launchedVoyaj, an online platform that serves as the intersection where technology and personal interaction meet. • Voyaj matches hosts and travelers worldwide to provide meaningfulexchanges, opening hearts and minds. The Voyaj mission is to build relationships between like-minded people who believe one-on-one relationships can lead to a more peaceful world. Matches are based on common interests and values, and curiosity about other cultures and locations. • Voyaj matches travelers and hosts who want to sharean authenticexperience.
  • 41. UAE - Iba Masood • Co-founder, Gradberry.com, a web-based careers portal tailored specifically to their young graduates needs. • What makes it special? ‘We exclusively post internships and vacancies for students and fresh graduates with zero to two years of experience,’ says Iba, 22, a very recent graduate herself. ‘It saves wasting time applying for “graduate” jobs that actually want people with four or five years of experience.
  • 42. Palestine - Abeer Abu Ghaith Branded Palestine’s first female high-tech entrepreneur. Staylinked: Interface between Palestinian freelancers and businesses from all over the world that need to outsource certain services. Within the list of 100 most powerful Arab Women.
  • 43. Gaza - Mariam Abu Itawi Mariam Abu Eatewi’s Wasselni, called “the Uber of Gaza,” makes it easier to carpool in Palestine by connecting passengers and drivers through their website and mobile app. One of the missions of Wasselni is to provide women with a safe means of transportation.
  • 44. What about the ecosystem? A few examples…
  • 45. Glowork KSA: First female recruitment Gulf
  • 46.
  • 47. Women VCs: Hala Fadel and Noor Sweid • With their VC firm Leap Ventures, Hala and Noor are looking to provide some big ticket investments for startups in the ICT sectors, and by default, they are also providing the second. • Including Sweid and Fadel, there are four female VCs in the Middle East. The other two are Salaam Saadeh of Active-M and Neveen El Tahri who founded Delta Inspire and 138 Pyramids. • That may not seem like a lot, but comparatively it’s not bad. In 2014 Fortune magazine found that just over four percent of partner-level VCs in the US were women.
  • 48.
  • 49. Salwa Katkhuda • Salwa is the Program Manager of TechWadi's Sprint Business Accelerator in Silicon Valley, where she builds tailor made programs for promising Middle Eastern technology startups looking to grow in the US market. • Prior to joining Sprint, Salwa was a founding member of Oasis 500, the first seed acceleration and investment program for early stage startups in the MENA. She held the position of Investment Manager at Oasis 500, where she was responsible for recruiting and investing in early stage technology startups. Salwa worked with companies during the acceleration program to reach proof of concept and prepared them for follow on funding from angel investors and venture capital funds. Salwa has worked with more than 1,500 entrepreneurs, invested in more than 70 startups from across the MENA region and directly helped companies raise more than USD 18M in follow on funding since 2011.
  • 50. Nina Galbraith Curley – Breakthrough • Nina Curley is co-lead at Breakthrough, an initiative in partnership with the Dubai Businesswomen Council, designed to enable the environment and mindset necessary for gender balance in business across the Middle East, through specialized workshops, masterminds, executive coaching, and events that focus on leadership as well as hard skills such as financial literacy. • Previously, she ran Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi, an accelerator program for technology startups focused on digital content and media, and prior to that, she served as the Editor-in-Chief of Wamda, a platform for empowering entrepreneurs, where she covered startup news across 19 markets and helped to mentor and support startups across the MENA region. • During that time, she launched Wamda for Women, an initiative to support female founders. • With a background in cognitive neuroscience and decision-making, she is passionate about enabling a sense of autonomy, purpose, creativity, and sacredness in others to support self-actualization.
  • 52. Saudi Girls Revolution Game • Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the heroines of SGR are a badass group of Saudi women who come together in a government enforced camp. Rising out of this brutality the women build and race suped-up motorcycles. • Their mission; to fight the evil tyrannical rulers of the corrupted Arabian Empire.
  • 53. Bahraini Esra’s Al-Shafei is a leading Internet activist in the Middle East • She requested not to show her face publicly for security reasons due to the Bahraini government’s restrictions on media and political freedoms. • Now based in Bahrain, she is the founder of Migrant-Rights,which works to improve conditions for domestic workers around the Middle East. • Al-Shafei also created CrowdVoice.org,a crowdsourcing platform for gathering information on protests.