Badiri’s programme furthers UAE’s enabling environment for females

Badiri Education & Development Academy (Badiri), the education and capacity building arm of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA), has launched the inaugural edition of the Badiri Entrepreneurship Programme (BEP) to empower aspiring as well as established female entrepreneurs in the UAE to start, strengthen and expand their enterprises.

The 7-month programme starting in May aims to boost economic opportunities for women in the UAE, taking a hands-on approach to building their knowledge and providing tailor-made tools to harness their capacities to turn their ideas into successful ventures. BEP has been designed in partnership with the UAE’s Ministry of Economy, local and international academic institutions, and specialised local entities.

The initiative was announced via a virtual press conference organised late last week by Badri Academy, with the participation of HE Reem BinKaram, Director of NAMA, and representatives of the programme’s partners including UAE Ministry of Economy’s National Program for Small & Medium Enterprises and Projects; UK-based School for Social Entrepreneurship (SSE); Pakistan’s National Science and Technology Park (NSTP); Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD); Sharjah International Commercial Arbitration Centre (Tahkeem); Sharjah Entrepreneurship Foundation (Ruwad(; Shiraa International for Projects Management; Sharjah Islamic Bank; and Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC).  

Besides imparting entrepreneurial skills, BEP will empower participants with the knowledge of global best practices in entrepreneurship. Alongside one-on-one mentorship, the programme will feature 6 learning modules, 7 workshops and onsite project visits to enable practical learning. All BEP alumni will be aided by SBWC in setting up their businesses.  

Admission criteria

Female citizens and residents of the UAE aged 21+ who have a business idea they wish to develop are eligible to join the programme. They must hold a secondary and/or higher education certificate and be proficient in written and spoken English. Applicants must commit to the full programme by attending online lessons and be available for in-person project visits.

To register, the application form available on the Badiri website needs to be filled out and submitted along with a detailed brief of the applicant’s business idea. After reviewing the applications, Badiri will hold virtual interviews with shortlisted candidates. Registration is open from March 24 – April 24, 2021. The programme commences on May 14.

Turning challenges into opportunities

HE Reem BinKaram stressed that encouraging and supporting female entrepreneurs begins with equipping them with knowledge and skills, and advancing their capacities to turn challenges into opportunities. Highlighting NAMA’s efforts to build successive generations of successful women entrepreneurs, she noted that BEP 2021 is designed to help participants set up their business or take it to the next level.

“NAMA does not operate in isolation from government institutions and authorities tasked with supporting women in the business sector. We partner with them to benefit from their combined experience to support us in our journey to enhance the UAE’s status as a role model in the region for encouraging and investing in women’s entrepreneurship. There are 32,000 Emirati businesswomen helming companies valued at around US$50 billion. The UAE also ranks first in the Middle East and North Africa region in the World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law 2021 Report,” she added.

Comprehensive curriculum

For her part, Dr. Mona Al Ali, Manager of Badiri Academy, said: “Launched under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairperson of NAMA, BEP 2021’s comprehensive, scientific, and integrated curriculum is designed to empower participants with a strong business acumen, entrepreneurial skills and a winning attitude. All our programmes are also geared towards creating new job opportunities, and play a pivotal role in supporting Sharjah’s and the UAE’s economy.”

A platform to unleash potential/invest in expertise

HE Eng. Azza Bin Sulaiman, Director of the UAE ministry’s National Program for Small & Medium Enterprises and Projects, remarked: “We are honoured to be Badiri’s partners in facilitating this programme, which aligns with our mission to collaborate with like-minded UAE entities empowering entrepreneurs with both knowledge and training opportunities. With certainty, Badiri embodies our wise leadership’s vision to empower women and build a knowledge economy, BEP is an ideal platform for merging local and global expertise to upskill participants.”

Alastair Wilson, CEO, SSE, said: “SSE is excited to be partnering again with NAMA to deliver the virtual Social Enterprise Action Learning Stream as part of BEP. This is the third year that we will be working with NAMA to support female social entrepreneurship and enhance its impact in the UAE. Through our courses, we empower people from all backgrounds to create positive social change. For this year’s programme, SSE will deliver six interactive online learning modules that will give the participants a comprehensive overview of social entrepreneurship through topics such as ‘Stories of Social Enterprise Success’, ‘Knowing Your Why’ and ‘Measuring Social Impact’.”Dr Nassar Ikram, Vice President, NTSP, said: “It is unfortunate that many aspiring woman entrepreneurs struggle to realise their full potential for want of a level playing field. I am certain that the partnership between Badiri and NSTP bodes well for women-led entrepreneurial ventures through capacity building of woman entrepreneurs and providing them with an enabling environment. It will also equip them with the right business acumen to rise and contribute their fair share to local and global economic development.”

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