ABU DHABI - 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) programme.

Titled AWE UAE 4.0 – Women in Business, the programme was developed to support the White House-led Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, designed to empower women worldwide to fulfil their economic potential, creating conditions for increased stability, security, and prosperity.

Applications opened today (28th September), with 8th December as the 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 attending all workshops and carrying out the classwork needed.

The five-month programme features online and in-person interactive workshops and training sessions, personalised mentorship, and networking opportunities. Successful participants will emerge with expanded business and operational skill sets and the chance to join a supportive community of like-minded individuals.

The programme will begin on 8th January and culminate in a Showcase Day on 22nd May 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, 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 stated, “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.”

Over the last three years, AWE UAE has become a force in the local economy, she added. Twenty-nine businesses were advanced through workshops, coaching, mentoring, and community engagement sessions, resulting in US$41 million in revenue, raising US$7.5 million in funding, and creating 481 jobs.”