The Atlantic Council’s empowerME Initiative‘s workshop on destigmatizing failure and promoting business risk through policies and culture in Saudi Arabia and the wider MENA region was held on Tuesday, January 24th from 10:00 am-11:30 am ET/6:00-7:30 pm KSA.

This workshop was apart of the new WIn (Women Innovators) Fellowship, led by the Atlantic Council’s empowerME Initiative in cooperation with Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business with support from US Embassy Riyadh, PepsiCo, and UPS. The American Chamber of Commerce Saudi Arabia’s Women in Business Committee is the program’s in-person event partner. The yearlong program from March 2022 – March 2023 enables thirty-three Saudi women entrepreneurs to enhance their networks, gain practical knowledge, and develop US-Saudi people to people and business ties that will help them scale their business locally, regionally, and globally.

Opening remarks

Jeff Reid
Founding Director, Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative
McDonough School of Business


Dalal Almutlaq
Co Founder and Managing Director
The Local Agency Saudi Arabia

Helen Al Uzaizi
BizWorld UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt

Kelly Blackaby
Managing Partner
Entail Solutions

Hela Cheikhrouhou
Regional Vice President, Middle East, Central Asia, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan
International Finance Corporation

Thereshini Peter
Chief Financial Officer for MENA

Moderated by

Jamila El-Dajani
Co-Chair of Women in Business Committee
American Chamber of Commerce Saudi Arabia


empowerME at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East is shaping solutions to empower entrepreneurs, women, and the private sector and building influential coalitions to drive regional economic integration, prosperity, and job creation.