April 18, 2024

Empowering the Future of MENA Entrepreneurs

Over the past decade, a remarkable transformation has been unfolding in the Middle East region, with an increasing number of women embarking on entrepreneurial journeys, particularly in the burgeoning technology and innovation sectors. Breaking away from the traditional male-dominated landscape, the Arab world’s relatively nascent tech industry now boasts an impressive statistic—one in every three tech firms in the Middle East is led by women, a figure notably higher than that found in Silicon Valley.

Lama Yammine-Hocks, an enterprising entrepreneur and a fervent advocate for female empowerment, is determined to spearhead this transformative wave, already making significant inroads in the global fintech sector. With a distinguished career spanning positions in the UAE, China, South Korea, and Germany, Lama has left an indelible mark on the international finance industry. Her recent foray, coupled with the launch of OPTO, a fintech-driven banking and intelligence platform for SMEs in the Middle East and Europe, is poised to revolutionize the MENA fintech landscape.

Lama passionately advocates, “Entrepreneurship is about embracing challenges, using them as stepping stones, and transforming them into our greatest teachers.” Her associations with One Young World and the United Nations underscore her unwavering resolve to dismantle barriers for young entrepreneurs, regardless of their involvement in politics, corporations, or startup ventures. “In the Middle East, we have an incredible opportunity to be a driving force in women’s entrepreneurship on a global scale. I’m committed to educating and mentoring businesses and individuals in the region while also bridging the gap by bringing global expertise to our local audiences and businesses. By doing so, we can collectively empower women and create a thriving entrepreneurial landscape, ” concludes Lama.

Further underscoring her commitment to advancing women in business, Lama shared her insights at the Female Founders initiative—an initiative dedicated to promoting female entrepreneurship and ensuring equal opportunities for women in the technology and innovation spheres. As a speaker, she embodies values such as courage, innovation, and social responsibility. Her narrative, rooted in the courage to diverge from the conventional path to drive meaningful change, resonates deeply with audiences, inspiring them to envision a more equitable and sustainable future.

Lama’s unwavering dedication to enhancing the MENA fintech ecosystem is exemplified by her pioneering effort to introduce premium German technology engineers to the UAE and the broader MENA region. This strategic move promises to usher in cutting-edge technological advancements and innovation, fortifying the region’s position as a global tech and fintech powerhouse.

Empowering Women in Business and Beyond:
The fifth-annual Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs report corroborates this shift, shedding light on the burgeoning number of women entrepreneurs in countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, Algeria, and Lebanon. The report highlights that a staggering 87% of female business owners in Saudi Arabia initiated their companies with the primary aim of bolstering their financial independence. Women in the region, who have grown up in tandem with technology and social media, are increasingly drawn to entrepreneurship, propelled by innovative ideas and ambitions to establish and expand their enterprises.

Furthermore, research by the World Bank underscores the constructive impact of female entrepreneurship. Female-owned businesses in the region not only employ a greater proportion of women (25%) compared to their male-led counterparts (22%) but also offer a higher percentage of women managerial roles, facilitating career progression. These businesses are also expanding their workforces at higher rates in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, outpacing firms led by men.

Last Updated on 3 months by Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247 delivers the latest business and lifestyle news and essential infotainment for, and from the Middle East region, with key focus on the GCC nations: United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman.
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