The WIn Fellowship, part of the Atlantic Council’s empowerME initiative, hosted a dynamic workshop on Monday, January 29th and delved into the transformative power of digital technology in Saudi Arabia’s startup ecosystem, exploring its impact on women entrepreneurs.

Saudi Arabia is undergoing a significant digital revolution, fueled by the ambitious goals of Vision 2030. Government initiatives and widespread technology adoption are propelling the nation towards becoming a leading digital economy. This exciting landscape presents a wealth of opportunities for entrepreneurs of all backgrounds to build and thrive in a dynamic environment. In 2021, women’s participation in the technology sector in Saudi Arabia was recorded at 28 percent, higher than the European average of 17.5 percent and a significant increase from previous years.

In this dynamic landscape, women entrepreneurs are emerging as leaders, shaking off traditional limitations and carving their own paths to success. The digital transformation in Saudi Arabia has opened unprecedented opportunities for them. It has facilitated access to wider regional and global markets and, importantly, it has helped dismantle traditional hurdles such as access to funding and lowering the unemployment rate, which is currently at 15 percent, a drop from 30 percent in 2017. Additionally, women’s share of graduates from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs stood at 36.8 percent in 2018, which is comparable to or higher than in several developed countries.

The event examined the nuanced challenges and opportunities that women face in this evolving landscape and provided a comprehensive understanding of the intersection between gender, entrepreneurship, and technology.


Welcome remarks:

Diana Korayim
Chairwoman of Business Committee
The American Chamber of Commerce Saudi Arabia

Opening remarks:

Amy Archibald
Counselor for Economic Affairs
U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


Mohammed Aldossary
Co-founder & CEO

Manal AlNemari
Consultant Digital Health Transformation HIS, PHCs Adoption and Utilization
Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health

Sarah Al-Husseini
Head of Government Affairs and Public Policy, Saudi Arabia

Saima Jabeen
Head Research Fellow, AI Research Center
Al Faisal University, Saudi Arabia

Moderated by

Maha Akeel
Faculty Lecturer
Dar Al-Hekma University

Event Recap

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

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