Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Evolvin‘ Women, a social enterprise dedicated to the advancement of women in developing countries has concluded the second edition of its Social Entrepreneurship Programme, a first-of-its kind entrepreneurship programme that aims to empower women from developing countries to ideate and scale their own sustainable business ventures.
Developed in partnership with PwC’s Middle East Academy, the talent and skills development business of PwC Middle East, ADG Legal, a UAE-based full service law firm, SPS Affinity, a hospitality focused strategy and communications consultancy, and longstanding Evolvin’ Women partner Accenture, the three-month-long hybrid programme included in-depth training for the participating women entrepreneurs in design thinking, auditing legal and finance frameworks, marketing, and strategy.
Having graduated from the programme with strategic business plans in hand, a total of five female entrepreneurs will now begin their journey to launch their startups with ongoing support from Evolvin’ Women. The startups included Honey Farming, a Farm to Plate restaurant and an Art Center supporting marginalized women.
The entrepreneurs all have plans to launch and scale their startups back in their home countries with further ongoing support from Evolvin’ Women over the coming months.
Assia Riccio, CEO, Evolvin’ Women: “Today, we are witnessing the dawn of an unprecedented new wave of female entrepreneurship across the globe. However, there is still much to be done to ensure women entrepreneurs – especially those coming from developing countries – have the skills, tools, and adequate access to capital they need to thrive. This is why we decided to launch our Social Entrepreneurship Programme. While governments and NGOs are committed to building inclusive economies, and the private sector is becoming more socially responsible, we are providing unemployed women in developing countries with the opportunity to tackle both challenges. We are very thankful to our partners who helped shape the programme into what it is today and have contributed to empowering women with much needed knowledge to scale their innovative ideas.”
Following six-hours of interactive training on finance fundamentals and marketing strategy provided during the programme by PwC’s Academy, Amanda Line, PwC’s Academy Leader, and PwC Partner, said: “Empowering women entrepreneurs is a professional and personal passion for me. And I am so pleased to see our team contributing to Evolvin’ Women’s unique social entrepreneurship programme that will enable these young ambitious women to truly make a difference to their community and society.”
ADG Legal also contributed to the programme by providing legal knowledge which included the basics of company law, contract drafting, corporate documentation, understanding NDAs, understanding intellectual property law, and understanding franchising.
Sultan Bahriddini, Paralegal at ADG Legal, said: “Awareness of legal rights is crucial for every business owner, especially for those who are new to the entrepreneurial space. We are delighted to partner with Evolvin’ Women and share our legal expertise, so these women are equipped to start their businesses with all necessary knowledge on contracts, partnerships, investments and NDAs that will help safeguard their businesses.”
Having contributed to the women’s knowledge with training on how to market themselves within the hospitality and F&B sector Peggy Li, Managing Partner at SPS Affinity, said: “We set out to help the women of the Social Entrepreneurship programme to dissect the complexities of the Food & beverage industry and utilise digital marketing as a tool to propel their own brand personas and generate awareness of their products and offerings.”
Evolvin’ Women will continue supporting the women entrepreneurs who completed the Social Entrepreneurship Program by providing them with access to funding through future affiliations and partnerships. Evolvin’ Women will also provide the women with market access through Evolvin’ Women’s recently established trading company, Nia, to implement their ventures and sell their products and services within their home countries.
Evolvin’ Women will also support the women through its recently launched sustainable trading company, Nia. Meaning ‘purpose’ and ‘good intention’ in Swahili, Nia creates stable market access for female farmers by funding technical assistance programs and increasing productivity and product quality. Nia currently trades its own branded coffee beans sourced and developed by women in Ethiopia. In 2023, the company will begin selling the honey developed by one of the start-ups. Part of the profit generated by the company is invested back into the farms it currently supports.
The first edition of the social entrepreneurship course was launched In January 2020, in partnership with Amity University Dubai and the Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC), during which participants developed sustainable tourism concepts through design thinking.
About Evolvin’ Women
A social enterprise at heart, Evolvin’ Women, is improving the employability of women from developing countries and helping hospitality businesses in the Middle East and Africa embed social responsibility in their business practices. Due to our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals #4, #5, and #8 and our work in equality of opportunity, in 2017, we joined the United Nations Global Compact and the UAE task force for the 7 Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs).