Investing in Women: UAE's Abraaj establishes $1.36 million female entrepreneurship fund
Abraaj is partnering with American University of Sharjah for the women entrepreneurship initiative (Courtesy of Gulf News)
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Dubai-based Abraaj Group, a leading investor operating in global growth markets, has announced the establishment of a Dh5 million ($1.36 million) women’s entrepreneurship fund at the American University of Sharjah (AUS).
The Peter Heath Women’s Entrepreneurship Fund will support up to 10 students annually. Students will be invited to apply for the Fund through a competitive process that recognizes and rewards creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial initiatives.
Announcing the establishment of the fund, Abraaj said the fund has been named after Dr Peter Heath, who for four years served as AUS Chancellor and has been especially supportive of the initiatives and endeavors of women entrepreneurs.
The Fund embodies the aims of the Abraaj Strategic Stakeholder Engagement Track (ASSET), which celebrates entrepreneurship, diversity and innovation across growth markets.
Abraaj executives will work closely with AUS in reviewing project proposals and selecting the successful candidates.
Arif Naqvi, the founder and Group CEO of The Abraaj Group, said, "The collaboration with American University of Sharjah is a demonstration of our commitment to empowering young women who are shaping the world."
"At Abraaj, our support for nurturing entrepreneurial networks and businesses in the markets in which we invest is embedded within our investment philosophy and we are proud to support such initiatives," he noted
AUS acting chancellor Dr Thomas Hochstettler lauded The Abraaj Group for its active support of the educational mission of the university and their foresight to partner with higher education to benefit the community.
“The Peter Heath Women’s Entrepreneurship Fund is an opportunity to channel the talents and innovation of AUS’s young women entrepreneurs into productive endeavors such as creative entrepreneurship. In doing so, this endowment will support women in developing new, innovative, high-value-added businesses and to that extent unlocks fresh potential and opportunities for talented young women at AUS,” Dr. Hochstettler said.
Vice chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs Dr Nada Mourtada-Sabbah said, “This endowment will support outstanding AUS young women entrepreneurs. It will accelerate the growth of their businesses by identifying and connecting them with the advisors, resources and insights they need to succeed and become expert leaders.”
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