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NAMA conducts entrepreneurship programme
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SHARJAH: The second cohort of the Jeel Entrepreneurship Programme have successfully completed the programme after presenting the business plans they worked on for the last 10 months to a panel of evaluators and investors at the Pitch event.

Jeel Entrepreneurship Programme is conducted by NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA), the Sharjah organisation dedicated to developing opportunities for women in economic, professional and social spheres.

The third and final ‘pitch’ stage follows on from the programme’s ‘Ideation Camps’ where business ideas were conceived, and stage two, which involved a series of in-depth workshops where participants were taught business skills such as marketing, finance, data collection, analysis and costing, and soft skills such as presentation and customer relations. Additional workshops were held, which included a session on UAE labour laws, where lawyers and HR professionals spoke to the participants.

The highly-competitive programme is a business ideation and entrepreneurship training and coaching programme customised and contextualised for unemployed Emirati women residing in the central and north-eastern regions of Sharjah. This edition saw the intake of 195 potential businesswomen in the first stage, of which 18 were shortlisted and completed the programme.

In Jeel 1, 21 per cent of the businesses were selected by Khalifa Fund for funding and mentoring support, as they met the fund’s requirements and had a clear business plan.

There were a variety of business ideas that were pitched to the panel, which included catering businesses, technology, perfumes, event organising and supplies, children’s activities, beauty centers, money exchanges and tailoring. The panel provided the participants with constructive feedback, that would help them improve their businesses. Reem BinKaram, Director of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment believes Jeel has played a significant part in both enabling and encouraging female entrepreneurs.

“It has been an excellent business platform not just for those who have reached the final stages, but for those who have played any part in the programme. They have been able to gain insights into the realities of a business environment and the essential requirements of a successful project.

“The business acumen of many of these women has been inspirational to their peers and that in itself drives a great deal of encouragement and professional empowerment. Ultimately, Jeel is a vehicle for ambitious entrepreneurs to start up and fulfils part of NAMA’s philosophy to promote women in business. We will continue to support them on their journey and help them realise their commercial aspirations. Women form an essential part of the business community and through Jeel they can be business owners and contribute further to the progress of Sharjah and the UAE.”

The second edition of Jeel follows on from the success of its first programme, which targeted female entrepreneurs in Sharjah’s Dibba Al Hisn community, and was launched in December 2015.

After the graduation, he participants become Jeel alumni, and receive technical support and mentorship when needed. NAMA also holds occasional workshops to provide them with more skills.

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