Dubai Business Women Council and MasterCard Announce Ro’Ya Judging Panel

United Arab Emirates, Dubai, 05 June 2014Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC), part of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and MasterCard today announced the Ro’Ya judging panel which will consist of prominent and well-respected industry leaders. The initiative has generated huge interest amongst aspiring female entrepreneurs in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since it was launched at the beginning of the year.

The five-member panel will consist of Bassam Falah, Founder and Managing Director of INNOVEST ME, a business startup, management buy-in firm that supports emerging high potential business opportunities; Dr. Yasar Jarrar, Partner at Bain & Company, a global management consulting firm; Clare Woodcraft, CEO of Emirates Foundation, an independent philanthropic organization set up by the Government of Abu Dhabi to facilitate public-private funded initiatives for youth welfare across the UAE; Mrs. Khawla A. Lootah, Member of the Executive Committee of DBWC; and Eyad Al Kourdi, UAE Country Manager at MasterCard.

The judges will be responsible for evaluating all the proposals which have been sent in and shortlisting eight candidates, who will be invited to present their business ideas to a live audience at a gala event in November. Proposals will be judged based on a number of factors including their economic viability, depth of research and understanding of the market.



“Ro’Ya has seen tremendous success so far and has appealed to a large number of female entrepreneurs in the UAE. The encouraging number of applications that were submitted is a testament to this success and evaluating them will not be an easy task. After the nine workshops Ro’Ya is hosting, candidates will be able to fine-tune their unique ideas and turn them into well-structured and practical business plans. We have identified some of the most respected professionals and trendsetters from diverse sectors to evaluate these applications and identify the ideas with the highest potential,” said Mrs. Raja Al Gurg, President of DBWC.


“The overwhelming response for Ro’Ya reflects the zeal and intent of women entrepreneurs in the UAE to realize their innovative ideas and enhance their role in supporting the growth of the country’s economy,” said Michael Miebach, President, Middle East and Africa, MasterCard. “We are fully supportive of the aspirations of the candidates who have applied for Ro’Ya and we are confident that our judges will deliver invaluable guidance and advice to the aspiring entrepreneurs.”

Currently, DBWC and MasterCard are hosting a series of coaching workshops that are open for all applicants and members of the public, which focus on the different elements of a business plan. Upcoming sessions include ‘DoingBusiness in the UAE’ (June 12), and ‘Your People’ (July 03).

Once all sessions are complete, applicants who have already sent in their business plans will have the opportunity to fine-tune their proposals based on the knowledge acquired in these sessions before they are reviewed by the Ro’Ya judging panel.


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