Mastercards names winners of Women SME Leaders Awards

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, 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, the Executive VP 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 $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, 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, the Executive VP, 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.

The awards were presented in 22 categories:

  1. The Designer
    2. The Logistician
    3. The F&B Leader
    4. The Retailer
    5. The Educator
    6. The Real Estate Leader
    7. The Health Custodian
    8. The Hotelier
    9. The Tech Leader
    10. The Professional Services Leader
    11. The Investor
    12. The Fashion and Beauty Leader
    13. The Media Leader
    14. The Leader in Agriculture
    15. The Executive
    16. The Artist
    17. The Leader of Tomorrow
    18. The Humanitarian
    19. The Visionary
    20. The Change Maker
    21. Home-Based Business of the Year
    22. The Momtrepreneur of the Year


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