EY introduces Entrepreneurial Winning Women programme to MENA

15 June 2018 Consultancy-me.com 3 min. read

After ten years of successfully mentoring ambitious female business leaders across the globe, Ernst & Young has now introduced its Entrepreneurial Winning Women programme to the Middle East and North Africa.

Now covering 65 countries across every major region – and having welcomed 430 participants over the course of its ten years – EY’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women programme aims to support talented female entrepreneurs in realising their full potential. Designed to accelerate the growth of promising female-led enterprises, the year-long programme sees participants provided with customised mentorship through one-on-on guidance, networking and training opportunities, and access to the latest research on business strategy and practice.

A recent global survey of Entrepreneurial Winning Women alumnae found that their businesses had grown at an average annual compound rate of 35% since their participation, and had increased in head-count by an average of 166%. Further, nearly nine out of ten former participants say that the programme has had a positive impact on them as founders, while many note the increase in national exposure and greater confidence gained in their role as public figures. 53% said they will be expanding operations internationally in the coming year – nearly half for the first time.

The Big Four assurance, tax and advisory firm states that the programme is intended to help savvy women entrepreneurs who exhibit confidence, conviction, tenacity and acumen to break through the existing market barriers, with applications for the newly launched MENA edition open to founding CEOs (with at least 51% ownership) of locally-based businesses which are two or more years and have annual existing revenues higher than US$250,000 – and who can demonstrate the passion and desire to scale-up internationally.EY introduces Entrepreneurial Winning Women programme to MENA“EY is very proud to bring the Entrepreneurial Winning Women program to the MENA region. We know experienced role models and access to business-building networks are critical for women entrepreneurs and this program is designed to deliver that through an extensive ecosystem built by EY,” said Sheikha Al-Fulaij, MENA Program Sponsor and Assurance Partner with EY’s Kuwait office, adding that the initiative was part of the firm’s efforts “to accelerate the achievement of gender parity and see more women become global market leaders.”

In a recent report on female workforce participation in the GCC by The Boston Consulting Group, the strategy firm found that female senior leadership levels in the region fell dramatically short of international benchmarks, with the rate of 6 percent in Saudi Arabia for example comparing to a figure of 43.5 percent in the US. The disparity was even more pronounced at the board level; Bahrain, which had the highest ratio of women in senior roles (and recently played host to the Women Power Summit), recorded just the 1.7% share of women in the board-room.

Here, the EY programme seeks to address the lack of visibility for female leaders in the region among corporate executives, investors and the media, while looking to create an international network of elite businesswomen and role models for its participants and other aspiring female entrepreneurs – backed by the global firm’s vast trove of resources, which, in MENA, includes more than 6,000 professionals across 15 countries. Applications for the programme close on the 15th on August, with an orientation conference to be held in Dubai in October this year.