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Aim High, Stay Grounded: A Theme That Brought Together Saudi Female Entrepreneurs

Aim high and stay grounded was the theme of the RISE UP Summit that united brilliant Saudi women including Ghadeer al-Khathlan, Sarah al-Towairgi, Elham al-Ghafary, Alhanouf al-Dosary, Reem Turky, and Rahma al-Ghanem.

This summit was launched by the Women in Business Network, and it hosted businesswomen from several industries including technology, development and services. The event took place in Cairo, and it aimed to develop the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority’s goal, in parallel with Saudi Vision 2030, to bring together the entrepreneurs, innovators, and pacesetters in the Kingdom.

The event was also attended by the Saudi ambassador to Egypt, Osama Nugali as he conversed with the topics at hand and emphasized on the expansion and development of regional talent, hence the increasing of the prospects of a profitable market and a sustainable supply chain, all while aligning with the pillars of Vision 2030.

The sessions in the summit were extensive and beneficial as entrepreneurs from all over KSA arrived to attend. One of the most talked about workshops was the MELA Leadership showcase hosted in partnership with Monsha’at (The Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority).

The keynote speakers were Atef Helmi, former Minister of Communications and IT in Egypt, Ahmed el-Alfi, founder and chairman Sawary Ventures, and Abdulhameed Sharara, founder and CEO of RISE UP summit Cairo. There was also a session featuring Sarah Al Ayed, Saudi trailblazer, alongside Dan Cipriani, titled ‘Failures in Every Success’, in which they spoke about the rewarding experience that come with every entrepreneurial journey.

Get close and personal with the profiles of the Saudi women that participated in the summit, as reported by the Saudi Gazette:

  • Ghadeer al-Khathlan’s first venture into entrepreneurship was when she won second place in Jeddah Entrepreneurs Meet 2016. She’s currently an instructor associate at General Assembly in partnership with Misk Academy to build Saudi Arabia’s workforce of the future through robust training in coding, data, design, digital marketing and product management.
  • Sarah al-Towairgi is a senior Finance Student at King Abdulaziz University. In 2017 she worked with The Social Group and launched 3 companies; The Social Kitchen, The Social Space and The Social Collective. In August 2017, she became a co-founder/Partner at The Social Collective website. In October 2018 She established a fashion rental company “Lend The Trend”.
  • Elham al-Ghafary has a master’s degree in Accounting, and more than 15 years of experience in the field of finance and accounting. Today Elham has launched her entrepreneurial venture in revamping the networking potential.
  • Alhanouf al-Dosary is the founder and owner of the Velvet Night Establishment, VP of the Hail Chamber Entrepreneurship Committee, and board member of the Hail Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Ambassador – Saudi Arabia (Hail region) for 2019.
  • Reem Turky is a senior specialist in emerging technologies, and strategy and performance management at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), where she leads initiatives for researching, planning and implementing emerging technologies, IT strategy, performance and quality management frameworks. In 2016 she founded and launched “Tawaasuly,” mobile app that facilitates dual-communications between Arabs who are deaf or hearing impaired.
  • Rahma al-Ghanem is a serial entrepreneur, dentist and volunteer keen on developing her industry for the growth and benefit of the community.

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