Three entrepreneurs from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Kuwait emerged victorious in Season 4 of the Hadafi Women’s Entrepreneurship Program, a free development program and competition that guides existing or aspiring women entrepreneurs through the process of turning an idea or passion in to a successful business ventures.
This season, the finalists hailed from all over the MENA region, with representatives of countries such as the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine and more in the mix. After months of competition, the winners were chosen from a shortlist of 11 projects by an independent judging panel following individual pitching and Q&A sessions during the Hadafi Final Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner held at the Ritz-Carlton Ballroom on Monday, June 29th.
“The submissions we received this year were outstanding, and we are confident that these young women entrepreneurs will have a major impact on their communities, and beyond,” says Mr. Shadi Banna, Managing Director of Potential. “We congratulate the winners and all the finalists on their achievement. Their success will continue to pave the way for more women to undertake entrepreneurship by providing the inspiration for others to follow in their paths.”
The first-place winner, El Dactara by Nada Hamada from Egypt, one of the first online platforms in Arabic designed to elevate the level of healthcare services and the level of medical awareness across the Arab world, making access to doctors’ information, qualifications and reviews, as well as patients’ medical information much easier.
Coming in second place was SnapChef by Marian Al-Nahdi from the UAE; a platform designed to supply on-demand qualified, high-level kitchen staff, chefs, and personnel to institutions such as hotels, restaurants and catering companies, as well as for individuals hosting private parties and functions.
The third-place winner, Q8Reborn by Ghadeer Al-Shirazi from Kuwait, is a unique product concept and business model centered on the design and creation of one-of-a-kind, ultrarealistic children’s dolls and accessories.
The top 3 winners received a significant boost to grow their businesses in the form of cash prizes, exclusive gifts, ongoing incubation and mentoring for their ventures worth over USD $70,000 as well as MBA scholarships from Synergy University.
The panel of 10 judges who selected the three winners from a field of 11 finalists included:
Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Technology Advisor
Hans Henrik Christensen
Director – Incubation Center Technology Investment at DSO
Director of Credit at Khalifa Fund
Fares al Anaizi
Managing Director of Manpower and Government Restructuring Program of Kuwait
Managing Partner of Womena
Regional Counsel MENA at HSBC
Group CSR Manager at MBC Group
Business Development Director at Eureeca
Vice Chancellor International of Synergy University.
Having expanded from its beginnings in Saudi Arabia in 2013, and now covering the entire MENA region, the Hadafi program has been a tremendous success in terms of providing women entrepreneurs with the knowledge, insight, and skills they need to succeed.
Past Hadafi winners have gone on to create many successful companies such as Izil by Mouna Abassy, a sustainably sourced line of health and beauty products, Rozan Designs by twin sisters Rawan and Suzan Al Sadi, a fashion forward design house pushing the boundaries of traditional wear, as well as Wardat Store, an innovative e-commerce initiative based in Taif, Saudi Arabia that brings to market high quality products made from the world renowned Taif Rose; as well as MICEit.co, the first MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions & Exhibitions) events booking and management platform in the region that combines all event related services in to a one stop shop platform. The dates for the next season of Hadafi will be announced on the Potential.com website.