• AWE was developed to support the White House-led Global Development and Prosperity Initiative to empower women worldwide to fulfill their economic potential
  • Applications open on September 28 with a December 8 deadline. The program will run from January 8, 2024, and conclude on May 22

Abu Dhabi, UAE – In partnership with the United States Mission to the UAE, startAD, the Abu Dhabi-based accelerator powered by Tamkeen and anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi, has opened applications for the fourth edition of the Academy of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) program.

Titled AWE UAE 4.0 – Women in Business,  the program was developed to support the White House-led Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, designed to empower women worldwide to fulfill their economic potential, creating conditions for increased stability, security, and prosperity. Applications open on September 28 with a December 8, 2023 deadline.

AWE UAE is open to all industries and sectors. Applicants should be female entrepreneurs between the ages of 20-60 with a strategic decision-making role, owning an SME business in the UAE, and a minimum team of two people full-time. Businesses that demonstrate operating revenues are encouraged to apply. The applicants must be able to commit to attend all workshops and carry out the classwork needed.

The five-month program features online and in-person interactive workshops and training sessions, personalized mentorship, and networking opportunities. Successful participants will emerge with expanded business and operational skill sets, and the opportunity to join a supportive community of like-minded individuals. The program will begin on January 8 and culminate in a Showcase Day on May 22, 2024, where the businesses will present their ventures to members of the UAE innovation ecosystem.

Martina Strong, US ambassador to the UAE commented: “I am proud to welcome the fourth cohort of businesswomen to the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), and I am grateful for the longstanding partnership with startAD, NYUAD, and Tamkeen.  It is inspiring to witness the growth of women-led businesses, which drive entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic opportunity across the country and showcase the very best of the U.S.-UAE partnership.”

Senior Associate Director of startAD Hana Barakat added: “With the UAE’s SME sector representing over 94 percent of the companies operating in the country, and nearly half of these businesses being owned by women, AWE UAE understands the potential impact on the UAE economy that women entrepreneurs can create and aims to provide them with the knowledge, tools, and network to scale in a dynamic business landscape.”

She added: “We are proud that our ongoing partnership with the U.S. Mission to the UAE continues to help successful entrepreneurs learn new skills and gain access to a vast network of partners and investors in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Over the last three years, AWE UAE has become a force in the local economy. Twenty-nine businesses were advanced through workshops, coaching, mentoring, and community engagement sessions, resulting in USD 41 million in revenue, raising USD 7.5 million in funding, and creating 481 jobs.”

For more information, please visit  startad.ae/awe

About startAD

startAD is an Abu Dhabi-based accelerator, steering local and global startups to scale in the UAE and beyond. Powered by Tamkeen and anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi, startAD is a new model for innovation that creates customized and impact-driven programs in partnership with stakeholders including governments, corporations, investors, and innovation entities, furthering UAE’s transition into a knowledge-based economy. startAD’s unique sprint accelerator model enables corporations to further innovation by partnering with startups disrupting their core businesses, while equipping startups with the training and opportunity to pilot their solutions with industry leaders.

startAD offers unparalleled business advancement opportunities to local and global tech startups, SMEs, researchers, investors, and youth through an extensive range of programs, state-of-the-art facilities, and a strong global network. Driving innovation in construction, retail, finance, and other priority industries in the UAE, startAD alumni startups have raised USD 70 million in investment, generated USD 50 million in revenue, secured over 50 global pilot projects with corporations, and created over 270 jobs worldwide.

About Tamkeen

Tamkeen is an Abu Dhabi based company mandated to deliver projects to meet the UAE’s vision of knowledge-based development. Tamkeen works with a variety of local and international institutions to enrich the UAE’s social, cultural and educational landscape.

About NYU Abu Dhabi 

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective program with majors in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, arts, and humanities with a world center for advanced research. Its campus enables students to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world, and to advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from some 125 countries and speak over 100 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents. 

About the U.S. Mission to the UAE:

The U.S. Mission to the UAE, which consists of the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi and Consulate General in Dubai, is the official representation of the U.S. Government in the United Arab Emirates, with the goal of advancing the important U.S.-UAE partnership to promote shared regional and global priorities and deepen the historic ties between the two nations.