Khalifa Fund Launches "SWAN" Programme

Khalifa Fund Launches "SWAN" Programme 

Initiative aims to transform Emirati women home-based businesses to successful commercial enterprises.

Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development has announced the launch of the Emirati Women Empowerment programme, the SWAN programme. This initiative is designed to empower ambitious Emirati women who successfully run home-based businesses in Abu Dhabi. With a strong emphasis on mental well-being, mindfulness, and leadership skills development, it aims to help them harness their strengths and gain the courage and support needed to transition their startup businesses into sustainable, commercial enterprises in the market and, consequently, shift their focus from achieving personal goals to pursuing social contribution goals aimed at the development of Abu Dhabi's economy.

This initiative is set to further this momentum builds on the substantial presence Emirati women already have in the business sector. In 2021, 25,000 Emirati women entrepreneurs held 50,000 trade licences, according to a recent survey by NAMA Women Advancement and UN Women. SWAN is set to further this momentum, enriching the SME ecosystem by amplifying the contributions of women entrepreneurs and enhancing their impact in the economic landscape.

Over a span of 6-8 weeks, 10-15 Emirati women will engage in intensive training encompassing six workshops, with business coaching sessions following the completion of every two workshops. This programme is crafted to assist them in transitioning their home-based businesses into sustainable, commercial ventures. The programme kicks off with the Mental Well-being workshop, identified as essential for leading a successful business and achieving work-life balance. Additional workshops cover key areas such as the Business Model Canvas, Business Plan and Financials, Sales Techniques and Marketing Strategies, Customer Value and Loyalty, and Business Sustainability. Upon successful completion of the programme, the womenpreneurs will be eligible for a grant of up to AED1 million in total to support their burgeoning businesses as they implement the knowledge gained. Success stories from the programme will be celebrated during Emirati Women’s Day in August 28.

Alia Abdullah Al Mazrouei, CEO of Khalifa Fund, said, "The launch of the SWAN programme aligns with the National Strategy for Empowerment of Emirati Women in the UAE 2023-2030, initiated by H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak (The Mother of the Nation), Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF). This underscores our unwavering commitment to supporting the aspirations of Emirati women in entrepreneurship and investing in them to empower their pivotal role in the entrepreneurial landscape. The programme will refine participants' personal and business skills, enrich their understanding of entrepreneurial fundamentals, and bolster their potential to confidently establish successful enterprises. This transformative experience will reshape their approach to entrepreneurship, elevating their objectives to include the social responsibility of women entrepreneurs and their active contribution to advancing Abu Dhabi's economy, alongside their personal ambitions."

She added, "In addition to the comprehensive training programme and financial backing, SWAN will unlock opportunities for participants to access local and global markets, expand their reach, and enhance the visibility of their brands. This support, provided by Khalifa Fund and its strategic partners, who will be offering them post-programme support”.

Additionally, participants will receive comprehensive support from Khalifa Fund partners, facilitating the establishment of their businesses and market access.

Khalifa Fund has always supported women's entrepreneurial journeys. Since its establishment, 371 businesses owned by women entrepreneurs have received funding up to AED225 million, while 21,189 have benefited from Khalifa Fund’s workshops and training programmes. The Fund has also partnered with leading international and local entities in various initiatives and training programs to support women entrepreneurship, such as the Facebook initiative 'She Means Business' in the UAE, and the Empowering Female Entrepreneurs initiative in collaboration with the Al Bayt Mitwahid Association.

The application window is currently open for those interested in joining the SWAN programme. Eligible applicants are ambitious Emirati women who have successfully managed a revenue-generating home-based business in Abu Dhabi, and demonstrate a high level of self-readiness, resilience, and creativity. Women who meet the specified criteria are invited to complete and submit their applications here

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