Executive Committee of Sharjah Businesswomen Council convenes eleventh session

Published April 11th, 2010 - 08:41 GMT

The Sharjah Businesswomen Council’s (SBWC) Executive Committee held its 11th regular session yesterday at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) building, where it discussed several topics related to enhance women’s participation in various, vital business activities which would contribute to the economic development of the emirate and its overall progress.

Aligned with the directions set by His Royal Highness Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and His Wife, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family and Honorary Chairperson of the SBWC, the topics discussed by the SBWC in its session focused on the need to develop women’s capabilities and boost their self-confidence by relying on the use of knowledge and experience in an innovative way to invest in available opportunities, establish small-to-medium businesses and focus on the offering of distinguished professional services.

The opportunities available for the SBWC which allows it to play a vital role in supporting the activities of the SCCI on both national and external levels, was at the top of the agenda during the meeting. This included looking into the capabilities on hand to support the SCCI programs related to encouraging women to take up business activities, especially by investing in the development of industrial ventures in Sharjah. This is considered a pioneering example in the industrial sector of the emirate as it hosts approximately 30 per cent of industrial projects on national level. SBWC is also working together with the SCCI on an initiative called ‘Made in Sharjah’, aimed to promote local products and expand Sharjah’s reach to the international markets. Sharjah is keen to offer and to continue developing infrastructure for the industrial sector that guarantees the continued success of the various activities within the sector, in recognition of its importance as a cornerstone in the development of other industries.

The Council also discussed means to further enhance cooperation with Riyada Center for the support of the “Manufacture it Yourself” program. This program aims to train and qualify a group of national men and women and offer them the support, facilities and encouragement to set up private enterprises in the areas which they are qualified in. Furthermore, it will assist them in implementing their projects to make it a success. The program, which was developed in cooperation with the Ruwad Establishment, covers three training courses in hospitality, auto-mechanics and photography. It was agreed during the meeting that the SBWC will sponsor and support six women to set up and develop their own businesses in the future.

Among other important issues highlighted during the SBWC meeting was the need to activate participation from universities and colleges concerned with business domains in the activities of the council. Within this framework, an SBWC delegation visited a Fair organized by the Higher Colleges of Technology in Sharjah on March 23-24. It reviewed the projects submitted for the fair and held a constructive dialogue with many participant students about the nature of their participation, as well as their future vision regarding setting up their own businesses.

Part of the Council’s meeting was dedicated to discuss the prospects of expanding SBWC’s activities to cover the Middle and Eastern Regions of Sharjah for the purpose of developing women’s leadership, innovative and competitive capabilities, such as through the organization of an exhibition to attract businesswomen to display their products and services. Such events will allow the Council to assess the level of production and survey the size, quality and nature of the businesses run by women in these regions in order for the Council to lay out plans and put in place the mechanism that can activate this group and put it on the right track. Along with the exhibition, SBWC will run workshops and interactive seminars to attract businesswomen from those regions, allowing for further networking opportunities.

Commenting on the agenda topics discussed in the meeting, Her Excellency Ameera Abdelrahim Binkaram, Chairperson of the Sharjah Businesswomen Council Executive Committee said: “The current focus of the Council revolves around the development of programs and building more alliances with government and private sector institutions. We want to address the adoption of all available options that may encourage women to build expertise, enhance their capabilities and benefit from the diversity of economic activities and business practices available to them, in order for them to assume an active role in the economic development of the emirate. The Council’s plans dictate the adoption and support of innovation in the various enterprises undertaken by businesswomen, in addition to the Council’s higher interest in new women graduates from universities in terms of offering them the necessary support to be completely ready to join work in the private sector and the business world.”

The Council also discussed in its meeting several other issues, including a follow-up on the Council’s plan for membership affairs and privileges, and the formation of a committee to support productive family ventures, and lay down the basis and develop programs to support and develop the productivity of these enterprises and improve their marketing plans. Additionally, the Council discussed the progress of work undertaken by the Council to encourage businesswomen to participate and nominate themselves to the Emirates Women Award for the Businesswomen and Professionals categories. This comes as a follow-up to an introductory workshop about the award criteria hosted recently by the SBWC and attended by a group of national and expatriate professional and businesswomen. The deadline for accepting nominations to the award is 15 April 2010.

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