Womentum: A female-focused early-stage accelerator for the MENA region


After years of building an award-winning angel investment platform Womena is now launching Womentum, a female focused, early-stage accelerator for the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region that will set out to support tech startups with at least one female founder.

In partnership with Impact Hub Berlin and the TECOM Group, the four-month accelerator program is designed to give early stage startups the best of both worlds: immersion in Berlin’s innovative ecosystem and connection to investors, mentors and regional markets from the Dubai hub. The program will follow a blended model with in-person sessions in Berlin and Dubai as well as a remote execution phase involving virtual mentorship to allow entrepreneurs to validate their products in localized contexts.

“We want to stop hearing the excuse of accelerators that there isn’t enough of a female-led pipeline to feed into their cohort,” says Elissa Freiha, womena’s co-founder and managing director. “We’re launching womentum with the aim of finding these early-stage, female-led companies and giving them the support they need to grow the next generation of disruptive businesses.”

Beyond support, Womena and its participants will be documented through a web series of 25 unique ‘Shark Tank meets Project Runway’ episodes. Their successes and struggles will be portrayed in weekly videos, showing the reality of the entrepreneurial life.

The Womena program will launch in Berlin in July and culminate with a final demo day in Dubai in October. As founders travel between Berlin and Dubai, they will embark on a quest to build the strongest company while winning the confidence of the audience and investors to capture the $50,000 prize.

Leveraging Womena’s content platform womedia, the womentum web series will build on the existing audience to give participating startups global exposure and access to an early customer base in their regional markets. The program will also aim to promote entrepreneurship, innovation and strong female role models in business and technology

Womentum’s application portal is now live. Early-stage startups that have at least one female-founder on the management team and are developing a scalable tech product are encouraged to apply.

Womena is a platform dedicated to encouraging gender diversity and inclusion in the regional entrepreneurship ecosystem. Founded in 2014, womena has spent years building an award-winning Angel Investment group that facilitated over 3 million AED in funding into 10 companies.

But Womena is just getting started: Through womedia, we are telling the story of our region’s changemakers, and through our womentum accelerator and education programs, we aim to increase the pipeline of women entrepreneurs into the MENA ecosystem. Through our Bosslady community, we’re building the largest network of female entrepreneurs and investors in the Middle East.

All of these elements come together to make womena the leading ecosystem enabler for gender diversity in MENA. The goal of womena is more women in business, more women investors, and a more inclusive, diverse, and consequently booming ecosystem.

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