Beating out 1000 entrepreneurs, 14 shortlisted projects and more than 600 submissions just from the UAE, three Dubai-based entrepreneurs were distinguished as winners of the Hadafi Women’s Entrepreneurship Season 3. Taking first place was Izil by Mouna Abassy, an organic beauty product line with a focus on argan oil -commonly found in Morocco, where Abassy is from- as a main component. In second place was Rozan Designs by Rawan and Suzan Al Sadi, a fashion house offering trendy and practical hijabs for the modern woman. Third place was awarded to Mezza by Jiyhun Kum, a social dining platform developed to resolving two issues of living in a diverse citysocializing with the community and learning new languages.
According to Potential.com, a learning solutions provider in MENA that founded Hadafi, winners received cash prizes, incubation and mentoring, “with a value totaling more than US$50,000.” Staged at the Grosvenor House on February 28th, BPW Middle East Company and BPW Emirates Club Chairwoman H.E. Sheikha Dr. Hind Al Qassimi attended both the Hadafi Final Awards ceremony and gala dinner. The ‘treps presented their pitches and fielded Q&A sessions for a 10-judge panel, including PepsiCo MENA Director of Corporate Affairs Noha Hefny, WOMENA Managing Partner Chantalle Dumonceaux, and Girls in Tech UAE Managing Director Shaima Ghafoor.
Launched in 2013, Hadafi is a free development program and competition that provides female entrepreneurs with training, finance and support to found an enterprise. Previous winners are Wardat Store, a KSA-based e-commerce initiative supporting the community by working with local craftsmen and shops, and MICEit.co, an events booking and management platform in MENA. If you’re interested, application eligibility includes being a MENA woman 18 years of age and above who wants to launch a startup or has founded a business in the past two years.