- Programmes and services targeting 2,342 members
- 45 initiatives over the course of 20 years
- Trade network across 48 countries
- Participated in 180 local and international forums and exhibitions
Sheikha Hind bint Majid Al Qasimi:
- SBWC's strategy aims for sustainability and innovation
- The council's 2023 strategy to attract even more entrepreneurs from various sectors
- SBWC is an inclusive platform where skills and innovative ideas can be shared
Sharjah: With a diverse membership of 2,342, the Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC) has fostered a positive business environment and increased women's participation in the economy across various industries and sectors. The SBWC continues to be a valuable resource for women in business, empowering businesswomen and entrepreneurs since its establishment in 2002 under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairperson of NAMA Women Advancement.
SBWC empowers and supports businesswomen by providing current tools and resources they need to succeed in today's rapidly changing business landscape, including knowledge in renewable energy and artificial intelligence. The council promotes investments in strategic sectors such as agriculture, industry, and technology, aligning with the country's goal of a strong and adaptive economy.
SBWC also focused on a wide range of traditional and non-traditional sectors, including retail, e-commerce, hospitality, healthcare, perfumes and jewellery, printing, publishing, journalism, media, and the arts, which has helped its members to connect and expand their business with the latest trends and opportunities. The council's efforts have not only helped its members to grow, but also contributed to the overall development of the economy.
National strategy according to the Principles of the 50
Sheikha Hind bint Majid Al Qasimi, Chairperson of SBWC, stated that the council's vision aligns with the established national principles, mainly the first two 'Principles of the 50', which focus on developing all regions of the country in terms of urbanisation and development, and prioritising economic growth and development as the supreme national goal of building the most vibrant and active economy globally.
She added: "The council's strategy focuses on sustainability by building on past initiatives and projects while constantly introducing new enterprises that attract female entrepreneurs from various industries. We ensure SBWC remains an inclusive and empowering platform where skills and ideas can be shared, thus contributing to economic prosperity, aligning with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed AlQasimi and the directives of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Muhammad Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs and NAMA Women Advancement. This helps create a business environment that elevates women to become leaders in their industries."
Diverse services for aspiring businesswomen
Over the course of twenty years, the council has sought to expand its services in various sectors and attract more members. In its inaugural year, SBWC trained and honed the skills of 31 members and kept pace with the influx of new joiners launching a number of new services to meet their needs and aspirations. By providing consultations and providing support for members, in partnership with local as well as international specialists and experts, SBWC offered exclusive discussions to its members developing and advancing their skills through training and workshops, in addition to networking sessions to help them successfully launch their projects and businesses.
In addition, SBWC launched a 'single-window' service exclusively for female entrepreneurs to accelerate business processing, this included applications, permits, and licences at the Sharjah Economic Development Department. SBWC sponsors its members to participate in local and international seminars and forums in addition to participating in trade missions which gives them access to a plethora of knowledge and incredible networking opportunities. Furthermore, members are able to enrol in several programmes and initiatives accessible through the SBWC app to market their projects and services on various platforms. The app provides a comprehensive overview of the council's programmes and resources in addition to exclusive discounts.
45 initiatives to support businesswomen
Since its establishment, SBWC has launched 45 initiatives, including seven newly established projects in 2022, to equip and hone businesswomen's skills and capabilities. A prime example of these initiatives is 'Mentor Monday', which aims to provide members with expert insights and business advice from well-established entrepreneurs, in a wide range of industries on the last Monday of each month. Another successful initiative is ‘SBWC Talks’, which is a roundtable that enables members to network with leading female entrepreneurs to exchange knowledge and explore solutions for challenges.
The council also launched SBWC Pop-Up, which provides opportunities for members to showcase their products and services via various entities and at landmark locations in Sharjah. The 'Majlisna in Khorfakkan' initiative, which provides a platform for aspiring businesswomen in the Eastern Region, especially in the F&B sector, enables female entrepreneurs to launch their projects as well as providing a platform for established entrepreneurs to secure investment opportunities.
Recently, SBWC announced a new board of directors comprising leading entrepreneurs in the community who are chairing a number of specialised committees. They have additionally launched new membership packages that include a bouquet of special incentives and access to financing opportunities. A good example of pairing business women with established organisations was when the council helped secure funding for three new projects that participated in the Pearl Quest Pitching Competition during Expo 2020, in partnership with Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), Bee'ah, Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and DiliTrust.
180 participations in 48 countries
By the end of 2022, SBWC had taken part in 180 exhibitions and forums in various sectors that bolstered its members' presence on the international stage, including GITEX, Women in Tech Forum, and even Torino Fashion Week. The council also provided an opportunity for its members to take part in its trade missions to gain experience from their counterparts around the world.
SBWC have received a great number of delegations and missions that have further expanded the council's network during these two decades, with its members reaching 48 countries in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the Americas, including significant financial and economic centres such as the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Japan, Kuwait, Sweden, Brazil, and other countries that have strong economic partnerships with the UAE.