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Enabling women entrepreneurs to develop business resilience, and reset their path to profitability

AWE promotes economic prosperity globally by creating opportunities for women entrepreneurs to skill, scale, and thrive.

Organized by the US Embassy Abu Dhabi, in partnership with startAD and Zayed University, AWE UAE is a six-month program, enabling women entrepreneurs to develop business resilience with a view to survive, thrive, and then grow, in the next normal and beyond.

Delivered online over two phases, the program is designed to be actionable, yet fit the demanding schedules of entrepreneurs. 

AWE with Grow Me v2.2-1

Program Phases SKILL - Reimagine Possibilities SCALE - Reinvent Your Business
Duration October - November 2020   January - March 2021
Format 9 online sessions (2-3 hours each) 12 online sessions (2-3 hours each)
Focus areas
  • Re-energise and refill your tanks. Reset your mindset to a new paradigm
  • Explore your business model for value and opportunity
  • Access experts who can answer your questions and help you gain insight to make informed decisions
  • Develop an actionable strategy to meet market needs

  • Conduct customer discovery with decision makers across a range of sectors
  • Access new markets through potential partners, new customer channels and potential investors
  • Interact with a pool of talented Emirati student interns who can provide diverse resources to execute on specific projects
  • Pivot, transform, and strengthen your business through guided learning and execution

Support Business and innovation experts Guided by a mentor, business strategist, and a supportive community

Craft an Action plan

Explore your business  for  value and opportunity. Identifying tangible next steps, and what you need for the way forward

Bring the plan to life 

Receive guided support to execute and adjust the plan to meet actual business needs

Next Steps The action plan is submitted and if successful, your business will move forward to the next phase. Whatever the outcome, you will be energized, have access to a broader resource network, and have a business continuity plan to work with. The phase 2 finale will be the opportunity to showcase your achievements and business potential at a high-profile event to celebrate Women’s Day 2021.


Who should apply?
  • Women entrepreneurs between the ages of  20-55, with a strategic decision-making role
  • SMEs that can demonstrate 2 years of operating revenue are encouraged to apply

  • Businesses with a minimum of four team members 

  • Applicants that can commit to attending every workshop and complete all assignments

Why Apply?
  • Gain the skills and tools to re-imagine and revitalize your business for current market conditions
  • Get trained by experienced business strategists,  innovation experts, and mentors to reset your path to profitability  
  • Connect with key regional and global stakeholders through the US Embassy and startAD global network
  • Access to skilled interns and local talents to fill project resource gaps
  • Showcase your business to potential partners, customers, and supporters at a high profile event on International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021

Develop an actionable strategy to meet new market needs

Evaluation Criteria
  • Future potential of the business: Scope for continuity and future growth


  • Team: Demonstrable curiosity and openness to the opportunity. Ability to commit the time to work “on the business”, do the work required to adapt the business 


  • Commitment: Willingness to explore, listen to learn, receive and share feedback, let go and re-imagine. Readiness to support the community
Our Timeline
Aug 12, 2020
Applications open
You are welcome to apply!
Sep 17, 2020
Virtual information session
Attend our virtual information session to learn more about the program
Sep 26, 2020
Applications close
Last day to submit your application
Oct 2020
Power breakfast
Network with our thriving community
Oct 18 - Nov 7, 2020
Phase 1 bootcamp + sprint
Craft an action plan. Explore your business for value and opportunity. Identify what you need for the way forward.
Nov 12, 2020
Phase 1 submissions
Submit your action plan
Jan 17 - Feb 28, 2021
Phase 2
Bring your plan to life with guided support
Mar 8, 2021
Showcase your achievements and business potential at a high-profile event to celebrate Women’s Day 2021