First directory for female-owned businesses launched in MENA
Mita Srinivasan
10x Industry

First directory for female-owned businesses launched in MENA

The UAE was one of the five most improved countries for making progress on gender parity and organizations like Female Fusion have contributed to bridging the gender gap by working with local companies and the government to create better awareness and uplift women-owned businesses.

Female Fusion has launched its official Business Directory, a first of its kind in the MENA region. This Directory consolidates female-founded and women-led businesses.

Globally, women-owned businesses make up half of the registered businesses, however, they only receive around 1-2 percent of contracts. According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2021, it will now take 135.6 years to close the gender gap worldwide if the current trajectory in the growth of female entrepreneurs continues.

The UAE has been extremely vocal about its support to female-founded businesses. The Ministry of Economy reported that 50 percent of the SMEs in the country are women-owned and 48 percent of women business owners are also the sole owners of their firms. These businesses employ about 20% of the workforce and contribute about 20 percent to the country’s GDP. There are also business councils set up specifically for women entrepreneurs in every emirate to reach out for support, mentorship and guidance.

Jen Blandos, CEO of Female Fusion said, “Irrespective of the positive outcomes women-owned businesses bring to the country’s economy, women-owned businesses are still not getting an equal share of contracts and business. Female Fusion and this verified Business Directory will help women-owned businesses find support among like-minded women as well as new clients to expand, evolve and achieve their dreams. Organisations that are committed to supporting female-founded businesses can find a variety of service providers such as auditors, lawyers, architects, photographers and more on the Directory. Our vision at Female Fusion is to create a safe, uplifting and supportive space to help women build a thriving business.”

The Female Fusion platform provides an opportunity for women-owned businesses to gain visibility and makes it easy for potential clients and customers to discover verified and legally operational businesses in the UAE and support them to grow.

For small businesses, SEO and Adwords are expensive and can take a while to come into effect, making it difficult to appear in search results. Being listed in a verified Business Directory allows them to be easily searchable within a comprehensive user-friendly website. With over 1,500 categories ranging from pet services to personal coaching to legal firms and many more, firms and individuals can find a business that fits the criteria they are searching for.

Additionally, Female Fusion also organizes various online and in-person networking events, delivers masterclasses and has an easy-to-access digital library with information about running a business in the UAE, among other channels of support for women to grow their businesses.