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Samar Alshorafa

2021 Fellow

Founding CEO, She is Arab

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Focus Areas

Economic Empowerment

Samar is the Founding CEO of She is Arab, a platform dedicated to connecting and enabling professional Arab women by building an active and collaborative community and offering a range of customized services and opportunities for their growth, development and increased representation. She is Arab is on a mission to magnify the impact and achievements of Arab women, in order to create a world where they are represented equally in the global economy. Their signature service is the Speakers Bureau, a platform through which organizations can identify and work with Arab women speakers for their events. In addition, She is Arab provides professional development and networking opportunities as well as advisory services on gender inequality to corporations, governments and foundations. As She is Arab enters its second year, they hope to build a community of professional Arab women, enhance the representation of women in business leadership positions, in the media and at speaking events, tap into and capitalize on the pool of underutilized professional women, and improve the ecosystem surrounding Arab women in the workplace. Samar also serves as the Advisor to the Chairman and is a Board Member of Farm Food for Food Industries and is a member of the Young Arab Leaders network and the Dubai Business Women Council. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the American University in Cairo, a SHE Leads Certificate from the Swedish Institute, and has completed a Data Analysis for Management online course with the London School of Economics, and a Digital Transformation: Platform Strategies for Success course from MIT. Most recently, Samar was featured on the ‘Arab Power List 2021’ by Arab Business magazine. Samar’s expertise is in business development, partnerships and project management. She is passionate about women’s economic empowerment, youth, policy reform, education, and social impact.

What Samar hopes to gain from the VV GROW Fellowship:

Samar is looking forward to gaining the knowledge and skills needed to grow her business and is eager to expand her network outside of the Middle East. She hopes to learn how other fellows have achieved profitability, built successful teams, and have digitized and pivoted during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also would love to know about other fellows’ experiences with membership networks or platform business models.

What Samar can offer other fellows:

Samar is happy to facilitate introductions or give guidance on the start-up community in the UAE and the MENA region.

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