Women own more than a third of all businesses worldwide. In the United Arab Emirates, special initiatives exist for women entrepreneurs to increase their participation in the business community. The United Arab Emirates is one of the best places in the world for women to set up a business and thrive, as it provides a most supportive business environment where applications from female entrepreneurs are fast-tracked and accorded top priority.
Women are highly respected in the United Arab Emirates. In fact, the United Arab Emirates was recently named the safest country in the world for women, according to the results of a study conducted by Georgetown University. So it is no wonder that several female entrepreneurs from around the world think of business setup in Dubai and the rest of the United Arab Emirates. The number of female entrepreneurs in the United Arab Emirates is growing by 20% every year.
On average, about 50,000 business licenses are granted to women every year in the United Arab Emirates. Emirati businesswomen alone hold 28,000 business licenses and have investments of $8.2 billion. These only serve to attest to the fact they are encouraged in the United Arab Emirates. The United Arab Emirates is indeed a place where your dreams can come true, and here are some ways you can make it happen.
Have the Right Mindset
Any female entrepreneur would do well to remember that a business takes time to become profitable. Some companies are able to break even faster than others, depending on their business model. So it is good to have a business plan in place before you launch your company, and stick to it. It is easy to become discouraged when things don’t pan out as planned, but the point is not to throw in the towel and quit. All you need to do is make minor adjustments to your business plan and continue on your journey to success.
Network With Others
The importance of this can never be underemphasized. There are actually a lot of companies out there that want to do business with women-led companies, so that they can be seen as diverse and inclusive in their approach. Where do you find them? At trade fairs and business expos. Dubai is actually a hub for international conferences, meetings, and conventions. If you keep your ear to the ground, it is not hard to find them. You could attend these events and strike up conversations with potential clients.
Represent Your Company
Before anyone does business with you, they are likely to look at your LinkedIn profile. So make sure that it is not only updated and contains a crisp photo of yourself in formal business attire, but also contains articles about your chosen field of business. This establishes you as a thought leader in the field and increases the probability of anyone wanting to do business with you. And in person, don’t be afraid to promote your company and its products/services. There is no vote of confidence like that of the founder.
Build the Best Team You Can
It is going to take a lot of time to interview candidates personally, but this is something that is going to be worth it. Find people who are respectful (this is an indicator of how they approach their work) and professional. Somebody who was or is a rockstar at another company may not always the be the right fit for your company. Remember, it is your company, and you want someone who shares the same vision for the company as you, not someone who will take it in a different direction because his/her experience said so.
it is always recommended that you personally interview all marketing staff, accounts / finance professionals, and those will be in charge of operations at your company. Once you build a core team, you can delegate and watch them help you accomplish your dreams. Even when your company grows, you do not have to interview everyone yourself. If you have hired a good recruiting manager who understands what exactly is it that you are trying to do, then you can safely entrust the hiring of new staff to him/her.
Get Access to Secured Funding
Every business relies on making an investment, and reaping the returns on investment. Sometimes, the profits may not be sufficient to fuel the next phase of growth at your company. This is where you, as a woman, actually hold the upper hand.
- The Dubai Women Establishment hosts an annual Women Leadership Exchange Programme, which offers an excellent opportunity for networking. Sometimes, your next backer needn’t always be a bank or a financial institution – it could be another women entrepreneur who will fund your dreams in return for a minor percentage in your company. This presents a risk-free proposition, so you have less to worry about. There is consequently a larger chance of success when you don’t have to worry about failing.
- The Abu Dhabi Business Women Council has an Integrated and Innovative Business Incubator meant specifically for new business ideas. When you are thinking of something new that hasn’t been tried before, there is no market data to rely on and it may be hard to convince a bank or financial institution to lend you money on the basis of a product / service demand survey. The Abu Dhabi Business Women Council provides not only technical support, but also funding as well as guidance and sound business advice.
- The Dubai Business Women Council, an initiative of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, provides training, education, and funding if you are located in Dubai or anywhere else in the United Arab Emirates. This is a non-profit organization that nurtures your business idea, helps you with finding the right financing (this could be in form of an investment in your company or even the crowdfunding route), provide you with an experienced mentor, and assist you in terms of professional development.
A lot of things change over time. It helps if you take courses to help you with your business. For example, you probably know about social media marketing, but may be unaware of how exactly it works. A short course that leads to a certification (these are more effective than general courses on the subject) might help you understand social media better and how it can be leveraged to your advantage. If something is too complex, like bookkeeping and/or accounting, it is best to leave it to an expert in the field.
There are things you can master and some things that may be too difficult to master. Play to your strengths, gaining proficiency in what you can. But you also have a business to run, so you need to allocate your time accordingly. If you can spend a few hours every week learning something new, you might be able to apply what you have learned to your business. For example, knowing how social media marketing works can help you find the right expert for your company, even if you don’t plan to do it yourself.
Look After Your Own Health
This is not something that is usually discussed, but it is one of the most important things of all. Ideally, you need to invest in a good health insurance plan (the more the coverage there is, the better) which insists on a health screening every year. Sometimes, the health screening can catch things like slightly elevated blood pressure, even it is not visibly evident on the outside. These are inevitable and come with the stress associated with running a company. It is best to detect early and take corrective action.