The ITC SheTrades and Visa Programme: Gulf Region aims to harness the economic potential of women-owned and led businesses in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and promote inclusive growth in the region. The project is implemented under the framework of Visa’s regional grant and education programme, titled She’s Next, with ITC SheTrades spearheading the capacity-building and networking component of the programme.
Implemented between June 2023 and March 2024 in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE
About the project
In June 2023, Visa launched the She’s Next grant programme specifically designed for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.This initiative garnered tremendous interest, with over 800 applications received from women-owned and led businesses across the region. By harnessing the economic potential of these businesses, the programme seeks to promote inclusive growth throughout the region.
This programme is tailored for women entrepreneurs in the region using insights gathered from She’s Next applicants. Comprising of virtual bootcamps, in-country workshops, coaching, and networking sessions, the programme will equip Gulf women entrepreneurs with key tools and expertise required to seize market opportunities and thrive in the digital era.
Community Building and Regional Collaboration: Fostering networking and collaboration between women entrepreneurs across the six countries and key public and private stakeholders.
Business assessment and diagnosis: Leveraging the Self-Assessment tool to enable women entrepreneurs to conduct a 360-degree business diagnosis and evaluate their learning needs.
Virtual Acceleration Bootcamps: Over 100 women entrepreneurs participated in the customized virtual bootcamps covering topics such as access to funding, digitalization, e-commerce, and sustainability.
Country workshops (November to December 2023): Delivery of technical workshops on business competitiveness and digitalization in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, providing guidance to a group of 40 women entrepreneurs (per country).
One-to-one advisory support (December to February 2023): over the course of 8 weeks, 30 finalists (5 per country) will receive tailored guidance and insights to boost their business and financial strategies.