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Mastercard and Female Fusion Network's Workshop Series At Expo 2020 Dubai Fosters Inclusivity In Tech Mastercard and Female Fusion Network have launched a series of workshops at Expo 2020 Dubai's Women's Pavilion to empower women entrepreneurs across the MENA region.

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Mastercard, the official payment technology partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, and Female Fusion Network, a Dubai-based community for women in business, have launched a series of workshops for female entrepreneurs at Expo 2020 Dubai's Women's Pavilion, stressing the need to provide women-led businesses with simple but effective business development solutions.

The first in a series of workshops focused on the power of the digital economy in enabling women-owned businesses to go online, and featured Ngozi Megwa, Senior Vice President - Digital Partnerships MEA at Mastercard, Jennifer Blandos Managing Partner at Female Fusion Network, Sarah Beydoun, founder and Creative Director at Sarah's Bag, Ioanna Angelidaki, co-founder of Instashop, and Maureen Hall, founder and CEO of COÉGA Sunwear.

The panelists commented on the findings of of a new research by Female Fusion Network and Mastercard which revealed that 95% of women-led SMEs in the region identify social media channels as the top tool for their business ventures. Other channels include their own e-commerce websites (72%), as well as messaging services such as Facebook and Whatsapp (50%). In addition, three out of four (72%) women-owned businesses said they rely on word of mouth to market their products and services.

"The findings from the study indicate a clear need for further education and empowerment," said Megwa. "Mastercard has long pushed for the success and growth of women as we break gender barriers around the world. Digital tools and technologies are the greatest equalizer for businesses and as the shift towards e-commerce becomes increasingly permanent, we are committed to helping women businesses go digital and grow digital as they pursue their entrepreneurial passions."

The recent unveiling of the inaugural Mastercard MEA SME Confidence Index also revealed that in terms of a digital footprint of the region's women entrepreneurs, social media (71%) leads the way followed by a company website (57%).

Mastercard has made a global commitment to connect 25 million women entrepreneurs to the digital economy by 2025 as part of its goal to build a more sustainable and inclusive world. It recently launched "The Entrepreneur's Odyssey' a first-of-its kind digital education platform that brings together a range of world-class academic and business resources to help small businesses learn and thrive.

For more highlights from the event, please check out our video!

Related: Global Ventures General Partner Noor Sweid On How The VC Firm Is Supporting Their Portfolio Startups For 2022

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