SBWC’s launches “Badiri” the region’s first Women’s Enterprise Development Virtual Academy


The Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC) launched the first of its kind platform called “Badiri” Women Enterprise Development Virtual Academy, a free of cost program, for aspiring and existing women entrepreneurs in Sharjah and the UAE. It will provide resources, training and support to enable them to launch their own businesses as well as hone their business skills. This initiative is under the directives of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of “NAMA” Women’s Advancement Establishment, Founder and Honorary Patron of SBWC.

“Badiri” Women Enterprise Development Virtual Academy is an electronic platform that uses online applications along with practical and interactive training and tailored online workshops and sessions delivered by business experts to support women in launching their business or expanding their existing ones.

The launch was announced in line with the International Women’s Day during a press conference honouring the 14th anniversary of SBWC, which was held at the Executive Office of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of his Highness Ruler of Sharjah.

Present at the press conference were Her Excellency Ameera BinKaram, Deputy Chairperson of “NAMA” Women Advancement Establishment, Chairperson of Sharjah Business Woman Council (SBWC); Shadi Banna, CEO of “Potential”, Farida Abdulla Kamber Al Awadhi, First-Deputy Chairperson of the Emirates Business Women Council (EBWC), Dr. Zanubia Shams, UAE national Entrepreneur, Co-Founder of “Just Falafel” Restaurants and “Just Heaven” Nursery and Chief Executive Officer of “Zulekha Healthcare Group”, Hala Al Gergawi, Executive Managing Editor of “Zahrat Al Khaleej” Magazine, Editor in Chief of Ana Zahra, and Raghda Taryam, Board member of Sharjah Chambers of Commerce and Industry and a number of community ladies, entrepreneurs, female graduates and local media representatives were present in the press conference.

Her Excellency Ameera BinKaram, Deputy Chairperson of “NAMA” Women’s Advancement Establishment and Chairperson of SBWC, addressed the audience at the conference and said: “Badiri” Women Enterprise Development Virtual Academy is a part of the “Badiri” initiative that is managed by SBWC. The initiative is a bilingual platform to support and develop entrepreneurial ideas among Emirati girls and women to start their own businesses and become successful entrepreneurs, and to provide current and aspiring entrepreneurs with resources and training through interactive courses and workshops in English and in Arabic. It will also allow participants and trainees to meet, network and cooperate with each other in order to start, develop and expand their businesses.“

She added: “Participants can register through SBWC’s website www.sbwc.ae and the program is open to women of all nationalities and over 18 years of age. The program is three months long and will include lectures, audio-visual presentations and other interactive sessions and E-learning methods with continuous supervision. There will also be a competition at the end of each training phase and the winner will be provided with expert support from an elite group of trainers and business consultants to launch her project.”

“Badiri” Women Enterprise Development Virtual Academy aims at developing women’s entrepreneurship and projects in business. There is a constant flow of information in today’s world through technology and the academy aims to create a unique platform that uses online programs technology for training and support.

BinKaram said: “This is a great platform for women to hone their entrepreneurial skills and turn their dreams of a successful business into a reality. Women of different nationalities and from difference backgrounds will get an opportunity to interact and exchange ideas with one another along with getting support from experts in the field.”

Ameera BinKaram also announced the six women chosen from the UAE to be the ambassadors of the program and included Olimpia Tabbach Mascolo, Retail director of “Mohammed Hilal Group”; Khulood Thani, Founder and Partner of “Anfasic Dokhoon”; Alia Abdulla Al Mazrouei, UAE national Fashion Designer and Founder of the independent fashion label “Bint Thani”; Dr. Zanubia Shams; and Hala Al Gergawi, and Raghda Taryam.

BinKaram added that in the past 14 years since the beginning of SBWC and under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, women have consistently been empowered to achieve their dreams leading to an increase of their presence in economic and social development.

She also spoke about some of the latest initiatives launched by SBWC including the “Souq Anwan” initiative in Dibba Al Hisn, which is aimed at providing support to young entrepreneurs who run small and middle sized enterprises in the UAE by providing them with office space as well as relevant training.

Additionally BinKaram spoke about the “Jeel” initiative launched by SBWC in December in collaboration with “Education for Employment” (EFE). Through a three year programme, the “Jeel” initiative seeks to support and develop entrepreneurial ideas and projects among Emirati girls and women in Sharjah to kick-start their business.

Farida Abdulla Kamber Al Awadhi, First-Deputy Chairperson of the Emirates Business Women Council (EBWC), the strategic partner of “Badiri”, welcomed the launch of “Badiri” Women’s Enterprise Development Virtual Academy as a unique opportunity for women to receive free training from leaders in business and contribute to the socio-economic development of the UAE.

Al Awadhi stressed that members of Emirates Business Women Council (EBWC) will benefit from the advantages of this academy and other “Badiri” programmes, which will strengthen the long-term relationship between SBWC and EBWC and lead to more joint initiatives and programmes with the aim of empowering women in the UAE.

Shadi Banna, CEO of Potential, addressed the audience saying: “We need to invest in empowering women and help them develop practical business skills that will benefit them and their communities. The Badiri program is an effective way to build these skills and help find talented and innovative women and who can become role models for future generations. It is an investment in the valuable talents and ideas of women in the Middle East, which aims to support and guide them to become successful entrepreneurs and job-opportunity creators in the Emirate of Sharjah in the UAE. In our interconnected world it has become very easy to start a business from any palace in the region, including from the comforts of your own home.”

During the conference, a video presentation was previewed recorded by the Khulood Thani where she stressed the importance of supporting entrepreneurs in the UAE and the region. She also spoke about the challenges she faced while launching her business and how she overcame them

The mission of SBWC is in line with “Nama” Women Advancement Establishment. Its main goal is to increase the economic development of Sharjah and create total empowerment of women in the UAE. Attendees at the press conference were given the opportunity to immediately register for the “Badiri” Women’s Enterprise Development Virtual Academy, becoming the first women to receive business training from experts.

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