Visa’s She's Next grant programme, a unique initiative to support women-owned and led businesses in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries, has received an overwhelming response with over 880 applications.
In its next phase, the programme is set to launch an engaging and insightful training seminar, titled “Elevate Your Business,” in partnership with ITC’s SheTrades Initiative.
This seminar is designed to help women entrepreneurs realise their potential and achieve their business ambitions. It includes virtual on-boarding and tools for business diagnosis and self-assessment, followed by innovative virtual acceleration sessions.
Applicants will receive in-country workshops and one-to-one advisory, providing them with targeted assistance and guidance.
Drawing upon the insights from the recent 'Women SMB Digitalisation Study' survey, conducted by Visa during the application process, this pioneering training package is specially designed to address the specific needs of women entrepreneurs.
According to findings in Qatar, women entrepreneurs surveyed showed interest in a host of topics ranging from diversifying the business (42%) to setting business profitability goals (38%). Almost everyone displayed interest in payment related training (96%).
The workshop topics that garnered most interest included using social media to promote business (39%) and cost control and tracking (38%).
"Collaborating with ITC, a United Nations and World Trade Organisation, to elevate the competitiveness of women entrepreneurs in the GCC region is part of our commitment to transform economies by including more women in business across the globe. Women entrepreneurs are the foundation of thriving societies and by enabling them, we make business and communities better for current and future generations,” said Carl Manlan, Head of Inclusive Impact and Sustainability, Visa.
She's next grant programme will host closing ceremonies in Qatar on September 25th, 2023. During the ceremonies five shortlisted candidates from Qatar will pitch their ideas, and one winner will be selected to receive a $50,000 grant and a tailored training programme.
Additionally, Visa is set to launch the Qatar People's Favourite Award ceremony. The award underscores Visa’s commitment to women entrepreneurs who continue to inspire and uplift their communities. The recipient of this award will also receive a prize of $10,000.
The five candidates from Qatar are Eunoia, Aisha Mohammed Salim; Digital Pulse, Raghad Akram Abughazza; Musharaka Trading and Services, Wardha Mamukoya; Receipts, Thuraya A. Nasser al-Mulla; and The Guilt Free Kitchen, Maya Claude Habib.
Amazon Web Services have partnered with Visa for this initiative with a common goal to support women entrepreneurs in Qatar.