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start it up

Wacky idea | who’s got VC | Q&A

Below, top to bottom: Google MENA Head of Communications Maha Abouelenein, Elizabeth Filippouli CEO and founder Global Thinkers Forum

Meet me halfway! Oasis500 ‘treps pitch their hearts out at Google Mena By Pamella De Leon


ENA region women are making their mark in entrepreneurial ventures. Last year, according to The Economist, female entrepreneurs were said to “average 35%” in the region. We got to see this in action at Google MENA’s Women, Entrepreneurship & Innovation event, organized in collaboration with the Global Thinkers Forum and Oasis500, an event geared toward encouraging women-led businesses. Hosting the event was Google MENA’s Head of Communications, Maha Abouelenein, who discussed Google’s intention to continue to support entrepreneurs. Abouelenein stressed the need and benefits



MAY 2014 APRIL 2014

of supporting women in creating businesses online, citing how only 7% of venture capital goes to women, yet women-led companies gained a whopping 35% higher returns. Salwa Kathuda, Investment Manager at Oasis 500, the Jordanian business incubator supporting the event’s entrepreneurs, announced that 73 investments were made to date with a USD$18 million raised. Elizabeth Filippouli, CEO and founder of Global Thinkers Forum, noted the significance of believing in talent and potential in the region, adding, “Having inspiration and vision is not enough. We need to do things.” Doing things, indeed. Five female entrepreneurs

were chosen to present their startups to prospective local investors with a five minute time limit. Check out our picks of the pack: Gallery AlSharq and Feesheh. There’s a definite demand for both in the market, and we think they’ve got great potential to penetrate the region. Good luck on your funding! Feesheh founder Nur Alfayez pitching in Dubai at Google MENA

Entrepreneur Middle East May 2014 | Batting Luxury Out of the Ballpark  

Paris Gallery CEO Mohammed Abdul Rahim Al Fahim talks about the nuances of luxury and prestige business. Al Mana family scion Wissam Al Mana...

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