Reem BinKaram and Dr Khalid Omar Al Midfa during the signing ceremony.
NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA) has been doing a lot to enhance the status of women. It is making earnest efforts to promote gender equity and inclusive economic and social growth. It has also campaigned for the prevention and end to all forms of violence against women and girls.
It was founded in 2015 by His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and is chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah.
NAMA also engages with grassroots and international organisations as part of its comprehensive approach. It also seeks to encourage businesses and start-ups owned by women entrepreneurs.
Recently, five women-owned early-stage start-ups in the UAE were given the opportunity to present their businesses to leading investors during a session titled, “Opportunity to Grow”, on the second day of the Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Summit.
A NAMA Women Advancement Establishment concept, the start-up pitch session was aimed at creating a new opportunity for women-owned early-stage start-ups in the UAE to scale up their businesses. NAMA has revved up its drive for women’s uplift in this regard by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Sharjah Media City (Shams) to support women-owned businesses across Sharjah through focused data collection that will aid in studies to advance women’s economic activities in the emirate.
The data, thus collected, will contribute to the development of tools, processes and systems to bolster the business sector, in general, with special emphasis on women-led projects, in line with Sharjah’s commitment to make the best use of its resources and ensure women’s full participation in the economy.
Reem BinKaram, Director of NAMA, and Dr. Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairperson of Shams, signed the MoU which stipulates the commitment of both parties in supporting women’s businesses in Sharjah and develop mutual plans to promote the emirate’s economic activities at the national and international levels.
According to the terms of the MoU, NAMA and Shams will support economic projects through incentives such as reduced charges on trade permits in a bid to attract businesswomen to invest in the emirate. They will also conduct studies on women’s economic activities to develop the tools, systems and processes to drive investment efforts.
Under the terms of the agreement, members of the Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC), an affiliate of NAMA, will be apprised of challenges and opportunities in the current economic scenario, and advised on ways to scale up their members’ businesses for greater sustainable growth.
The collaboration between NAMA and Shams will also include hosting workshops for women entrepreneurs to raise awareness on the local and regional labour markets to pave the way for successful commerce. Home-based entrepreneurs will be educated on the importance of obtaining trade permits and receive instructions on how to get one.
The two entities will also organise joint promotional exhibitions, panel discussions, and investment and economic conferences to advance women’s economic activities in the emirate. Relevant data will be made available to all entrepreneurs who desire to open a start-up or expand their business in Sharjah.
Dr. Khalid Omar Al Midfa noted that through the provision of innovative facilities and services for businesses, Shams serves as a catalyst for creative entrepreneurs to grow and thrive. Shams’s quest to be a world-class media hub has seen it strengthen partnerships with local entities, he added. Midfa lauded the strategic partnership with NAMA as an initiative that will boost the entrepreneurial landscape for women. To attract women-led SMEs and businesses, Shams will offer full support to register women’s projects and grant them permits. He underlined that enabling women’s economic empowerment and giving women opportunities to take their aspirations to new levels will enhance investment across sectors, thereby stimulating and nurturing Sharjah’s economy.
Reem BinKaram emphasised that the MoU aligns with NAMA’s goals of amplifying women’s role in economic and social sectors. By encouraging policies that support the projects and businesses of women entrepreneurs, NAMA seeks to create equitable opportunities for women in the economy, she said. “The MoU reflects NAMA’s quest to offer women an empowering environment across all its affiliates - Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC), Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council (Irthi) and Badiri Education and Development Academy (Badiri), by providing them with access to all services, knowledge and resources to foster their skills and capacity and propel their participation in the UAE’s socioeconomic development process,” she added.
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