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UBS Report on Female Entrepreneurs in the MENA Region

A recent report by UBS, titled “Women and Investing, Voices from MENA,” in partnership with Women in Business Arabia, sheds light on the evolving landscape of women’s engagement in finance and entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This report offers valuable insights into the opportunities and challenges faced by women in the region, with key takeaways as follows:

Financial Empowerment: Traditionally, many women in the MENA region have entrusted financial decision-making to male family members or spouses. However, the report highlights a growing interest among women to become more involved in financial matters. Approximately 62% of respondents expressed a desire for more information about investing and a willingness to become active investors.

Educational Needs: While women in the region are eager to expand their wealth and businesses, there remains a need for education and tools to empower them in making informed financial decisions. Improved access to information on investment opportunities and associated risks is crucial.

Community Support: The report underscores the importance of strong networks, mentors, and female role models in boosting women’s confidence and encouraging their active participation in entrepreneurship and leadership roles within family businesses and communities.

Female Entrepreneurship: The MENA region has witnessed a rise in female entrepreneurs. However, there are barriers to accessing funding, and women-led businesses are less likely to seek investments compared to their male counterparts. Encouraging female entrepreneurs to seek investment opportunities and providing them with mentorship and support is essential for their success.

Role Models: Female role models play a pivotal role in inspiring women across careers, finances, and entrepreneurship. Witnessing women in positions they aspire to, who have charted their own paths and confidently built networks, serves as a powerful motivator.

The report emphasizes that women’s wealth in the MENA region is on the rise, estimated at nearly $800 billion, making the next decade a transformative period for women in the region. By addressing educational gaps, fostering supportive networks, and promoting female role models, women in the MENA region can increasingly engage in the evolving economy and financial landscape.

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