Visa, FAB and DBWC Announce Five Winners of the First UAE Edition of the Visa She’s Next Program

  • The UAE’s award-winning women-owned small businesses will each receive a $10,000 grant and a year of business coaching from IFundWomen.
  • The winners were selected by an independent committee from over 90 candidates active in a variety of sectors from textiles to education, food and beverage to professional services, beauty and wellness in the UAE.

Dubai, UAE – Visa, the global leader in digital payments, has announced the winners of its She’s Next UAE scholarship program at an awards ceremony in partnership with First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) and Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC). Under the initiative, five women-led companies in the UAE received a $10,000 grant and a year of business coaching from IFundWomen to help grow and expand their business, as well as media coverage and networking opportunities.

The five winners were selected from over 90 applications submitted by UAE women entrepreneurs from a wide range of sectors, from textiles to education, food and beverage to professional services, beauty and wellness. The winners were selected based on the evolution of their corporate journey, the strength of their business metrics, their digital presence and their problem-solving skills.

The jury consisted of Salima Gutieva, Visa’s Country Manager for UAE, Ganes RK, Visa’s Head of Business Solutions for MENA, Nadine Halabi, Business Development Manager of DBWC, Sara Al Binali, Group Head of Corporate, Commercial and International Banking at FAB, Salil Ahuja, Head of CVP & Portfolio for Commercial Banking at FAB and Khuloud Al Omian, Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Middle East and CEO of Arab Publisher House.

By participating in the program, all female entrepreneurs have access to practical insights from women leaders in the public and private sectors, as well as valuable tools and learning resources – including Visa’s Practical Business Skills program – they need to grow and run their businesses. to develop.

“In a world where companies in general are struggling with the lingering effects of the pandemic and inflation, small businesses owned by women continue to prove their resilience and show great optimism about the future of their companies,” said Dr. Saeeda Jaffar, Senior Vice President & Group Country Manager – GCC, Visa. “Visa recognizes these women entrepreneurs, their dedication and continued contributions to our communities, and is proud to support and showcase them through our She’s Next initiative, which we are pleased to bring to the UAE for the first time. These women have not only broken many stereotypes about the types of businesses women run, but have also clearly shown that they can grow and scale. We would like to congratulate the five recipients and look forward to supporting them through these grants and the mentorship program, so they can continue to work and thrive in these uncertain times.”

Sara Al Binali, Group Head of Corporate, Commercial and International Banking at FAB said: “The reach and creativity of business ideas we have seen as part of ‘She’s Next’ is exceptional and demonstrates the drive and talent of these ambitious women. The finalists and winners in the grant program are the best of an outstanding group, and we hope everyone who participated will benefit from the experience, which includes gaining practical insights from women leaders, as well as resources and knowledge to grow their businesses. As the UAE’s largest bank, FAB has an in-depth knowledge of the SME segment, partnering with SMEs and entrepreneurs to provide the financial support and technical expertise that growing businesses need. We look forward to seeing the winners and participants of “She’s Next” prosper in the future, and to continue empowering women in the emerging economy.”

Nadine Halabi, Business Development Manager of DBWC, congratulated the winners of the She’s Next initiative and wished them every success. She emphasized that the initiative aligns with the DBWC’s mission to promote female entrepreneurship and help members benefit from Visa’s expertise and its extensive global network. “This particular kind of initiative and collaboration not only paves the way for women-owned companies in all industries and sectors to acquire the necessary tools and resources, but also helps them move forward, while inspiring women entrepreneurs with new ideas.” and perspectives to better meet the increasing demands of the labor market.”


  1. Hafsa Qadeer, ImInclusive: An end-to-end platform that connects People of Determination with inclusive jobs and empowers employers to embrace inclusion.
  2. Mirna Hamad, Kashida Design: Acclaimed design studio Kashida creates a luxurious interior in beautiful Arabic calligraphy that adds a Middle Eastern touch to contemporary pieces.
  3. Viktorija Aksionova, Mindtales: A start-up with a mission to transform the region’s workplace wellness landscape by making digital wellness support accessible, convenient and inclusive.
  4. Sukriti Verma & Namrata Budhraja, Shift Eco: A platform that helps you transition to an eco-friendly lifestyle by giving you access to vetted and curated organic products for your home and personal care routines.
  5. Lara Hussein & Ceylan Hours, Waste Labs: An impact-driven and data-driven startup in the UAE working with households and businesses to reduce food waste through nature-based solutions and build soil.

ImInclusive and Waste Lab’s will also participate in a virtual event, “She’s next: Spotlighting Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East,” hosted by Forbes Middle East and Visa. At the event, female business leaders from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Morocco will share their strategies for promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment.


About Visa Inc.

Visa (NYSE: V) is a global leader in digital payments, facilitating transactions between consumers, merchants, financial institutions and government agencies in more than 200 countries and territories. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, convenient, reliable and secure payment network, enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. We believe that economies that include everyone everywhere elevate everyone everywhere and see access as fundamental to the future of money traffic. Learn more at About Visa, and @Visamiddleeast.

Media contact
asda’a bcw, Dubai, UAE
Dhanya Issac | Danaisha Gulabani
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

About Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC):

Founded in 2002, under the umbrella of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, the Dubai Business Women Council is the UAE’s leading platform for the personal and professional development of business women in the Emirate of Dubai.

Since its inception, the Council has made efforts to increase gender equality in society and encourage women to play an active role in building the country and promoting sustainable development.

Providing education, training and networking opportunities to help achieve holistic development and meet the career aspirations of UAE business women is at the heart of the DBWC’s mission, in addition to inspiring and encouraging women to role in society and the economy.

DBWC’s tailor-made workshops and seminars are organized exclusively for its members and provide valuable information on the latest knowledge, skills and best practices for women entrepreneurs and leaders. Visit to learn more about the DBWC and how you can join the community of visionary and influential pioneering women and how you can benefit from its services and initiatives.

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