Female empowerment, youth literacy, cultural education, environmental protection, and family counseling- these were just a few of the issues that took center stage at a projects showcase session of the 2016 class of e7 Daughters of the Emirates (e7) program. e7, the flagship leadership program of community platform Promise of a Generation, held a pitching session for its 2016 class (its second batch) to display their projects and secure grants from primary sponsor Emirates NBD on June 18, 2016. Since the commencement of the batch in April, the young women aged 18-25, with guidance from a network of e7 mentors, have developed and refined their ideas into workable solutions that allow them to both realize their potential and also give back to their respective communities.
Teams pitching their projects at the event. Image credit: e7.Through the delivery of five-minute pitches of their ideas, followed by Q&A sessions, the teams enthusiastically attempted to convince an elite panel of judges about the core need for the project, its financial feasibility and potential social impact, among other factors. The jury included Najla Al Midfa, General Manager, Sheraa Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre, Vikram Krishna, Executive Vice President, Head of Group Marketing & Customer Experience, Emirates NBD, Elena Cruz, Vice President, Head of Brand Management and CSR, Emirates NBD and Michael Mansour, Chief Innovation Officer, Microsoft Gulf.
Jury members Michael Mansour, CIO, Microsoft Gulf,Najla Al Midfa, GM, Sheraa Sharjah, Vikram Krishna, Executive VP, Emirates NBD and Elena Cruz, VP, Emirates NBD. Image credit: e7.
Following the pitches, grants amounting to AED20,000 were awarded to four of the projects: Let’s Lead, a project proposing creation of a support community of young women; Mootary, a project promoting participation of women in the automotive sector; Ghanmt, an idea aiming to create awareness of Emirati culture and heritage; and Masaari, an internship program for high school students.
Let's Lead team being awarded the project grant. Image credit: e7.Besides these grants, Emirates NBD also awarded AED5,000 each to support the remaining projects, putting their total contribution towards the e7 cause at AED100,000. In addition, Al Midfa of Sheraa Sharjah will help connect the female innovators to organizations in her network, while Microsoft Gulf has extended a one-week internship to two of the teams.
Mootary team being awarded the project grant. Image credit: e7.Related: An Open Call To Innovators: The Middle East Needs More Women Entrepreneurs