Women entrepreneurs from UAE, South Africa, Kuwait, Botswana, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Nigeria, Kenya and Morocco are among the winners of the Mastercard Women SME Leaders Awards.

A virtual ceremony was held celebrating the achievements of women-led businesses in 22 categories across multiple industry sectors in Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Launched in 2022 in collaboration with Entrepreneur Middle East, the Mastercard Women SME Leaders Awards is the first initiative of its kind to recognise women-owned and run SMEs shaping the future of the region.

Women of tomorrow

“The second edition of the awards has once again exceeded our expectations – from receiving entries from diverse businesses to seeing the women of tomorrow raising the bar as we embrace a future that includes more women across industries.

“I’d like to congratulate all the winners for their contributions and commitment to the SME success story and for being a part of the Women SME Leaders Awards 2023,” said Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President of Market Development, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa at Mastercard.

The second edition of the awards saw 4,547 submissions from businesses with a turnover of less than $13.6 million (AED50 million) and employing between six to 50 people.

22 categories

Entry to the award’s 22 categories – which included The Designer, The Logistician, The Retailer, The Educator and The Investor - was open to all female individuals or businesses who have their offices or offer their services in EEMEA.

Other award categories included The F&B Leader, The Educator, The Real Estate Leader, The Health Custodian, the Executive, The Leader of Tomorrow, The Leader in Agriculture and The Visionary, in addition to others.

Celebrating and showcasing individuals and enterprises shaping economies, value chains and the digital economy, the winners were:

Marcela Sancho Montoya, Founder, House of Pops

Rim Guirari, CEO, Mustard and Linen Interior Designer

Marloes Knippenberg, CEO, Kerten Hospitality

Meher Mirchandani, Managing Director, Palmon Group FZCO

Kim Thompson, Founder and Managing Director, Raw Coffee Company

Masindi Netshakhuma, CEO, Renof Productions

Latifi Bin Haider, Founder, Baytuki

Noora AlAskar, Founder, Nutribox Your Pocket Nutritionist

Marang Mbaakanyi, Founder and CEO, Drones of Africa

Susy Massetti, Founder and CEO, Maria Massetti WLL

Roaya Saleh, Founder, Villa Mamas Restaurant

Youmna Khoury, Founder, Youmi Beauty

Sarah Curtis and Zainab Imichi Alhassan Alli, Founders, POP Communications

Jana Krimpe, Founder and CEO, BEST Solutions

Anastasia Kopijevski, Founder and CEO, Skaya Art Agency

Dina Mattar, Founder and CEO, Dverse

Jennifer Obiorah, CEO, TeamUpcyclers

Karima Anbar, CEO, Intisar Foundation

Beatrice Jemimah Wanjiku Kiniti, Founder, Jobenvic Enterprises LTD

Wada Kealotswe, Founder and Director, Aiko Creations t/a Eco Zera

Shilpa Mahtani, Founder and COO, BnB ME

Mona Alami, Co-founder, Ecofertil

The Women SME Leaders Awards 2023 judging committee included Ajmal; Tamara Pupic, Managing Editor of Entrepreneur Middle East and Nezha Alaoui, Founder and CEO, Women Choice.

The awards are aligned with Mastercard’s global commitment to connect 25 million women entrepreneurs to the digital economy by 2025, as part of its goal to build a more sustainable and inclusive world.

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