Virtuzone kicked off its 2013 Connect Breakfast series with a women-only event held recently at the MAKE Business Hub, which brought together select media, influential industry experts, some 60 small business owners and serial entrepreneur and start-up maven Mona Ataya, as a guest speaker.
In a sector that is conventionally characterized by limited access to financial support, but also, equally important, lack of mentorship and peer network, Virtuzone’s Connect Breakfast proved to be a touch point like no other for women entrepreneurs, where practical advice met sky-high inspiration, networking fuelled opportunity, and growth strategies were the most coveted rumours. “We are committed to accelerating the advancement of women and the growth of their businesses by fostering an upbeat entrepreneurship environment and promoting a network where women could share their knowledge, solve problems, make new contacts and forge alliances”, said Neil Petch, Chairman, Virtugroup.
“Globally the number of women entrepreneurs is growing and women are seen as a force for stabilizing employment and supporting continued economic growth. We believe there is great potential for the UAE community of female entrepreneurs to mirror this trend, but there is still much that can be done to help them reach their full potential,” added Petch.
Mona Ataya, the event’s guest speaker was uniquely positioned to give advice to budding women entrepreneurs. She is widely respected and well known as one of the leading champions for entrepreneurship in the region, with 20 years of experience in high leadership positions and at the helm of some of the most dynamic companies in the regions, such as Mumzworld, a successful e-commerce platform she founded in 2011 to offer parents the widest choice of children’s products and the ability to search, compare and buy from a vast selection, easily and conveniently.
The Connect Breakfast was launched by Virtuzone in 2012 and was designed as a series of business networking events, that provide its customers with a regular platform for interaction and sharing, with a focus on the critical challenges and issues of small businesses. “When we started these gatherings we were pleasantly surprised by the turn-out and the level of entrepreneurship happening in the UAE. We thought that a dedicated platform aimed at bringing women entrepreneurs together on a regular basis to share best practices and spotlight the positive impact women-owned businesses have on the UAE economy, could be very beneficial”, explained Petch.
‘We also wanted to break away from the traditional networking events. We wanted to provide an intimate and worthwhile experience for all women attending, because we want to equally empower and inspire the newly set-up companies by stay-at-home moms, who just gathered the courage to set-up their own business; but also the high-growth start-ups of more experienced business women. To us there is no such thing as a small business. Without these small businesses and their stories, our community simply would not exist”, concluded Brett.
The next business networking mixer for women from Virtuzone’s Connect Breakfast series will take place in April 2013. Event details will follow in due time.