Startups, Tech, Money, Career Advice, Now + Beyond

10 female entrepreneurs who are changing the way things are done in the Arab World

Everyone has ideas. But these amazing women turned theirs into realities.

Presented in partnership with Womena.

There’s a clear lack of funding in the startup ecosystem, with female founders getting only 2% of venture capital in 2017.

However, Womena is leveling the playing field by ensuring female entrepreneurs are supported so they can succeed.

One of their game-changing initiatives, the Womentum Accelerator program, is the first early-stage accelerator that focuses solely on female-led startups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Womentum graduated their first cohort, with a diverse portfolio covering everything from employee engagement and satisfaction to investment platforms and on-demand beauty services.

These female founders are taking over the world by creating regional and global waves.

1. Mennat Allah,  XPay, Egypt

Image description: The founders of XPay, a man and woman are standing together smiling.
Image description: The founders of XPay, a man and woman are standing together smiling.

Using blockchain technology to power a cashless community-powered family wallet?  The future of finance is here and Mennat Allah and her husband, Mohamed Abdelmottaleb, are implementing it in people’s everyday lives.

2. Amira Cheniour and Inès Hamida, Seabex, Tunisia

Image description: The six founders of Seabex, three women and three men doing funny poses for the camera.
Image description: The six founders of Seabex, three women and three men doing funny poses for the camera.

Seabex is a smart-automation and e-monitoring system that tracks environmental factors to help farmers make better decisions as well as automating things like turning irrigation systems on or off depending on what is needed. This will help farmers work smarter as well as helping the environment, proving that sustainability doesn’t have to be a limiting factor in developing agrarian economies.

3. Sarah Bacon, We Share Property, United Arab Emirates

Image description: The founders of WeShareProperty, a man in a blue shirt and a woman in a dark tank top.
Image description: The founders of WeShareProperty, a man in a blue shirt and a woman in a dark tank top.

We Share Property is an investment platform for the real estate industry to professionalize and streamline the experience of real estate investment making it more accessible to people than ever.

5. Romouz Sadeq, Mrayti, Jordan

Image description: The founders of Myrati, three men and three women crowd in to take a selfie together in a mirror.
Image description: The founding team of Mrayti, three men and three women crowd in to take a selfie together in a mirror.

A unique mobile salon for the Arab world where customers can book different services of their choosing, the salon features a booking system for stylists and artists that smoothly integrates with their calendars. It provides a mobile salon, allowing customers to access on-demand beauty and personal care.

6. Nouf Al Saleem, Mathaqi, Saudi Arabia 

Image description: The founder of Mathaqi, a woman wearing black with long, dark hair.
Image description: The co-founder of Mathaqi, a woman wearing black with long, dark hair.

Mathaqi‘s mission is to provide home-cooked meals from international cuisines delivered to users on demand. The company allows home cooks and small businesses to be able to provide a professional, deliverable product without taking the risk of setting up a business on their own.

7.  Houda Miroche, Zelij, Morocco

mage courtesy of Womena. Image description: The founder of Zelij, a woman in a white shirt and long dark hair speaks into a microphone in front of a crowd with the logo of her company behind her.
Image courtesy of Womena. Image description: The founder of Zelij, a woman in a white shirt and long dark hair speaks into a microphone in front of a crowd with the logo of her company behind her.

Zelij is working to turn plastic waste into sustainable building materials, such as eco-friendly paving stones and floor tiles made from plastic waste. Their Paveco product is made with 80% plastic waste and is comparable to standard paving.

8. Dara Alsulayman, Jaazi, Saudi Arabia/United Arab Emirates

Image description: The founder of Jaazi, a woman in a white shirt and blue blazer with long dark hair.
Image description: The founder of Jaazi, a woman in a white shirt and blue blazer with long dark hair.

Meet the future: an employee engagement tool that looks to combat disengagement in the workplace using a perks and benefits marketplace and a pulse-survey tool. Jaazi is working to create a more empathetic work environment in the Middle East by opening up channels of communication and engagement between employees and employers.

9. Reham Elmasry and Ingi Naguib, Furnwish, Egypt

Image description: The founders of Furnwish, two men and two women stand in front of a blackboard.
Image description: The founders of Furnwish, two men and two women stand in front of a blackboard.

Using immersive augmented reality experience, Furnwish allows users to try out and see furniture in their own spaces, in real-time. This is the perfect fix to making sure users don’t invest in furniture or the hassle of bringing it home – only to find out it doesn’t fit the space as they may have expected.