Mastercard has announced the winners of its second edition of the Women SME Leaders Awards at a virtual ceremony, celebrating the achievements of women-led businesses in 22 categories across multiple industry sectors in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Launched in 2022 in collaboration with Entrepreneur Middle East, the Mastercard Women SME Leaders Awards is the first initiative of its kind to recognize women-owned and run SMEs shaping the future of the region.

“The second edition of the awards has once again exceeded our expectations – from receiving entries from diverse businesses to seeing the women of tomorrow raising the bar as we embrace a future that includes more women across industries. I’d like to congratulate all the winners for their contributions and commitment to the SME success story and for being a part of the Women SME Leaders Awards 2023,” said Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President of Market Development, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa at Mastercard.

The second edition of the awards saw 4,547 submissions from businesses with a turnover of less than US$13.6 million (AED50 million) and employing between six to 50 people.

Entry to the award’s 22 categories – which included The Designer, The Logistician, The Retailer, The Educator and The Investor – was open to all female individuals or businesses who have their offices or offer their services in EEMEA. Other award categories included The F&B Leader, The Educator, The Real Estate Leader, The Health Custodian, the Executive, The Leader of Tomorrow, The Leader in Agriculture and The Visionary, in addition to others.

Celebrating and showcasing individuals and enterprises shaping economies, value chains and the digital economy, winners from the UAE, South Africa, Kuwait, Botswana, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Nigeria, Kenya, and Morocco were:

  1. Marcela Sancho Montoya, Founder, House of Pops
  2. Rim Guirari, CEO, Mustard and Linen Interior Designer
  3. Marloes Knippenberg, CEO, Kerten Hospitality
  4. Meher Mirchandani, Managing Director, Palmon Group FZCO
  5. Kim Thompson, Founder and Managing Director, Raw Coffee Company
  6. Masindi Netshakhuma, CEO, Renof Productions
  7. Latifi Bin Haider, Founder, Baytuki
  8. Noora AlAskar, Founder, Nutribox Your Pocket Nutritionist
  9. Marang Mbaakanyi, Founder and CEO, Drones of Africa
  10. Susy Massetti, Founder and CEO, Maria Massetti WLL
  11. Roaya Saleh, Founder, Villa Mamas Restaurant
  12. Youmna Khoury, Founder, Youmi Beauty
  13. Sarah Curtis and Zainab Imichi Alhassan Alli, Founders, POP Communications
  14. Jana Krimpe, Founder and CEO, BEST Solutions
  15. Anastasia Kopijevski, Founder and CEO, Skaya Art Agency
  16. Dina Mattar, Founder and CEO, Dverse
  17. Jennifer Obiorah, CEO, TeamUpcyclers
  18. Karima Anbar, CEO, Intisar Foundation
  19. Beatrice Jemimah Wanjiku Kiniti, Founder, Jobenvic Enterprises LTD
  20. Wada Kealotswe, Founder and Director, Aiko Creations t/a Eco Zera
  21. Shilpa Mahtani, Founder and COO, BnB ME
  22. Mona Alami, Co-founder, Ecofertil

The Women SME Leaders Awards 2023 judging committee included Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President, Market Development, EEMEA for Mastercard; Tamara Pupic, Managing Editor of Entrepreneur Middle East and Nezha Alaoui, Founder and CEO, Women Choice.

The awards are aligned with Mastercard’s global commitment to connect 25 million women entrepreneurs to the digital economy by 2025, as part of its goal to build a more sustainable and inclusive world.

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.

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