Members of the Brazilian businesswomen delegation in a meeting with SBWC officials during their visit to Sharjah.
The Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC), an affiliate of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA), hosted a delegation of businesswomen from Brazil in Sharjah recently, as a follow up to NAMA’s successful networking event in São Paulo August.
Part of the visit was dedicated to introducing the Brazilian delegation to the Sharjah business market for potential business opportunities. To this end, SBWC facilitated business networking meetings between the visiting delegation and the authorities at Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD) and Sharjah Airport International Free-zone (SAIF), to offer them a detailed insight into the process of setting up a business in consultation with these authorities and the benefits of doing so as foreign investors.
While at SAIF, the Brazilian delegation was taken on a tour of the free zone by Raed Bou Khater, SAIF’s Commercial Director, who gave them an overview of the business set up process as well as the services and facilities available to businesses based out of the free zone.
During the visit, SBWC members and the Brazilian delegation attended a workshop titled ‘How to use social media to improve your business, and how to work with digital influencers’. The workshop was conducted by Patricia Silva, founder of GRUPO IT Brazil, and provided valuable insight into leveraging the vast reach of the internet, especially social media, to strengthen the presence and market outreach of their business.
According to a report by the media company ‘We Are Social’, 122 million people in Brazil became active on social media as of 2017, which accounted for 87.7 per cent of all internet users in the country. This puts Brazil as the fourth largest internet market, with a 66 per cent user base.
The workshop also provided an opportunity for SBWC members to interact with successful Brazilian businesswomen, who shared their expertise in launching digital platforms in order to expand their businesses.
Speaking about the event, Sheikha Hind Bint Majid Al Qasimi, Chairperson of SBWC, said: “We have presented several opportunities to Brazilian businesswomen and looked at ways to strengthen partnerships with them. The potential held by women-owned businesses to strengthen local economy and boost national growth has been proved time and again, and must be facilitated on a larger scale. By opening up our markets to women-owned Brazilian businesses, we aim to support their business expansion plans in addition to creating more opportunities for SBWC’s members to identify commercial leads in new markets that align with their business interests.”
The Chairperson of SBWC added: “Both local and resident women have established their presence in various areas of life including the business sector. They have shown great capacity for innovation and excellence, especially in the economic sphere. Women constitute 46.6 per cent of the labour force in our country. There are more than 23,000 businesswomen in the UAE. SBWC itself has over 2,000 members, who operate businesses across various sectors and capacities. We want them to benefit from the interactions with the Brazilian delegation and explore the possibilities of business tie-ups with them in future.”
According to a Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Brazil study, 15.3 per cent of the country’s population run their own businesses, second only to China. More importantly, 53 per cent of all entrepreneurs in Brazil are women, the most among G-20 nations after China.
SBWC aims to leverage this visit to continue networking and build strong bilateral business relationships in various potential fields by presenting business opportunities in the UAE and Sharjah for female Brazilian entrepreneurs.
Partnerships between Sharjah and Brazilian women entrepreneurs align with one of SBWC’s primary goals to support businesswomen via tie-ups with organisations and individuals in the UAE and beyond. These partnerships will provide Sharjah women with exposure in international markets.
NAMA’s delegation that visited São Paulo last year was represented by Reem BinKaram, Director of NAMA; Sheikha Hind Bint Majid Al Qassimi, Acting Chairperson of SBWC; Erum Mazher Alvie, Senior Advisor, The Executive Office of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi (HHEO) and NAMA Executive Board member; Nada Al Lawati, NAMA Executive Board Member and Board Member of SBWC; and Maryam Rashid Bin Al Sheikh, Manager of Membership and Services at SBWC.
They met Ana Paula Fava, Head of the Special Advisory for International Affairs the State of São Paulo, to discuss potential cooperation between the UAE and Brazil to support women in business and trade, studying joint plans and mechanisms to serve women’s issues, and examining women’s economic empowerment and capacity building.
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