BisB Participates in “She’s Next, Empowered by Visa” Judging Panel

Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB), the leading provider of Islamic digital banking services in the Kingdom of Bahrain, announced that Ms. Fatema AlAlawi, BisB’s Chief Retail Banking Officer, has been selected as a member of the judging panel for “She’s Next, Empowered by Visa” program.

“She’s Next” is a global initiative dedicated to supporting women-owned small and medium-sized businesses by offering them funding, training, and networking opportunities. The initiative also highlights the region’s ongoing directives to empower women entrepreneurs. The program was launched in collaboration with eleven partners from across the GCC region with the aim of enhancing the opportunities for women entrepreneurs to access funding for the expansion of their businesses, in addition to supporting them to overcome the industry’s challenges through facilities, consultations, and access to a broad social network.

During the program’s final ceremony, the judging panel of international experts announced Aida Almudaifa, the Founder of Early Riser, the only manufacturer of granolas and nut butters in Bahrain as a winner. All female entrepreneurs from various sectors in the region had the opportunity to apply to the program. Only six winners across the region will receive a USD $50,000 grant along with a year of business coaching from the International Trade Centre (ITC), a United Nations and World Trade Organization, and US$3,000 in Amazon Web Services credits.

Commenting on the occasion, Mr. Yaser Alsharifi, Chief Executive Officer of BisB, said: “We are proud to be partnering with Visa to support this program, which aims to empower women entrepreneurs in the region, as well as provide them with opportunities and connect them to a thriving network of women in the sector. We are honored that Ms. Fatema AlAlawi, BisB’s Chief Retail Banking Officer has been selected to represent the Bank at the final ceremony of the program, and we are confident that her participation in the judging panel has been critical in evaluating female candidates, thanks to her integrity, extensive experience and insight into the challenges of the business world.”

On her end, Ms. Fatema AlAlawi, Chief Retail Banking Officer of BisB, commented: “It is an honor to be part of the judging panel of ‘She’s Next’ – launched in the Kingdom of Bahrain for the first time, alongside multiple international experts to select the final winner. This step stems from the need to empower women to lead in the business world and develop their role as active partners in driving the economy. Hoping that our support for the initiative will contribute to increasing the number of women going into entrepreneurship in the region and connecting them with promising investment opportunities.”

“She’s Next” was launched in May 2023 across the GCC region with 880 women applying to the program. The final ceremony took place in September in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where the winner was selected from Saudi, Omani, and Bahraini contestants. The event also hosted a number of nominated women entrepreneurs to discuss their challenges and ways to overcome them to achieve excellence in the business world.

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