Finding Female-Led Startups

In honour of International Women’s Day, we introduce Womena’s Womentum 2019 Accelerator Program.

On our recent trip to Dubai, we met award-winning angel investment group Womena. Founded in 2014, it has already facilitated over 3 million AED in funding into 10 companies. Womena grew to become a multi-dimensional media company that produces content focused on female founders, creatives and change-makers. Womena accelerates equality through creative content and entrepreneurial experiences.

In light of International Women’s Day, we want to highlight their flagship accelerator program, Womentum.

Womentum, is an experience-based early tech accelerator focused on female-led tech startups in the Middle East, and aims to increase the pipeline of women entrepreneurs into the MENA ecosystem.

Womentum guides you through a 4 month program that takes place across the Middle East and brings participants together in 2 major global startup hubs: Berlin & Dubai. Applications for Womentum are still open and will close on April 11th. Apply here.

What do you get?

  • Exposure
  • Capital
  • Support & Guidance

Who can apply?

If you are an early stage startup that:

  • Has a gender-diverse team with at least one female co-founder (who owns equity in the business)
  • Is developing an innovative and scalable tech product
  • Has proof of concept and an existing prototype
  • Is based in or operating in the Middle East market
  • Has demonstrated a commitment to building a successful company by having at least one team member 100% focused on building your business from July to October
  • Is willing to be featured on media and appear on camera throughout the program

In their first cohort of 2018, they received an unprecedented 175 applications from women-led businesses and they are looking to increase this number in 2019.

The four month program starts with 2 weeks of in-person sessions in Berlin where tech and innovation experts will be zeroing in on the foundations of your business, your product development and business model.

Startups then go through a remote execution phase in their home countries and receive virtual mentorship as they work to validate their products in localized contexts.

This is followed by a 2 week Dubai bootcamp where Startups are prepared to be investment-ready, refine their pitches and know exactly what to expect ahead of an exclusive Demo Day that brings together key players in the regional ecosystem.

“Womentum took us from a struggling startup to this more polished, stronger, confident, investment-inclined business,” says Ingi Naguib, co-founder of Furnwish, one of the Egypt-based startups in the 2018 cycle.

“Womena has always done things our own unique way and this accelerator follows that legacy,” says Elissa Freiha, Founder of Womena. “In addition to a world-class curriculum, we envelop all content in perspective-shifting experiences: Taking the entrepreneurs out of their comfort zones and forcing them to look differently, innovatively, at their solutions.”

2019 will focus on mental health, co-founder relationships and personal growth through dynamic EQ sessions, more of which will be part of this year’s cycle.

You can follow the journey of these startups through their recently launched Womentum Series, 12-episode docu-series that documents the unique program and how it has impacted the founders’ lives. It will give you an insight into the reality of what it’s like to build, pivot and grow businesses in these regional markets. Watch the Womentum Series trailer!

You can also join their Womena Bossladies network, where the largest number of female entrepreneurs and investors in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region come together to support each other and promote female leadership in entrepreneurship.

All of these elements come together to make Womena the leading ecosystem enabler for diversity and inclusion in MENA. The goal of Womena is more women in business, more women investors, and a more inclusive, diverse, and consequently booming ecosystem.

So here’s to celebrating Women!