The WIn (Women Innovators) Fellowship was launched by the empowerME initiative of the Rafik Hariri Center and Middle East Programs in March 2022 to support women entrepreneurs in building leadership and executive capacity and scaling their startups to new heights. The goals of the fellowship are to:

  • Accelerate the leadership and executive skills of women entrepreneurs and provide them with an unparalleled network of mentors, business executives, and policymakers
  • Expose US policymakers, scholars, and the business community to a unique and direct perspective on women’s opportunities and challenges in select countries
  • Develop a top-tier network of WIn fellows across the Middle East region who can support one another and be ambassadors for women’s economic participation

After the success of the inaugural program in 2022, the WIn Fellowship is returning with a second cohort for 2023.

The fellowship aims to support women entrepreneurs in building their leadership and executive capacity to scale their startups to new heights. The program is a unique collaboration between the Atlantic Council and Georgetown University, offering a structured yearlong executive training program, mentoring by regional and international executives, and networking opportunities with leading U.S. and MENA business executives, government officials, and policy experts. The top participants will be selected to attend a fully sponsored trip to the United States for leadership training at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and meetings with US business and government leaders.

2023 Applications

Eligibility criteria

  • You are a woman citizen of KSA/ UAE/ Bahrain
  • You are a founder or co-founder of a business and looking to take your business to the next level
  • You have five years of experience
  • You can speak English fluently
  • You can commit to four 90-minute hybrid workshops done after 6:00 pm (of course, excluding local holidays)
  • No travel requirement! One week’s travel plan is only required for selected participants by the end of the program
  • Local networking sessions will be conducted for those that can attend

Applications are now open for the 2023 cohort

Through the fellowship you will

  • Have expanded knowledge and skills. You will acquire new knowledge and skills. This can give you a competitive edge and enable you to stay ahead of the curve in your industry.
  • Expand your network. You will expand your professional network and build new partnerships. This can help you access new markets and resources and gain insights into industry trends.
  • Find mentors and supporters. You will connect with mentors who will offer guidance and support as you navigate the challenges of growing your business. They can provide valuable feedback, help you identify opportunities and pitfalls, and offer practical advice based on their experiences.
  • Increase your visibility and credibility within your industry, region, and beyond. This can help you attract new customers, investors, and partners and position your business as a leader in your field.

WIn Fellowship 2022 Program Agenda

March 15, 2022

WIn Fellows selected and notified

Kick off welcome meeting

March 29, 2022
April – May, 2022

Mentor matching occurs
Pre-module assignment

Module 1: Leveraging Lean Innovation Principles to Grow Your Business led by Georgetown University

May 24 – June 1, 2022
June 7, 2022

Balance of Power: Promoting More Women in Leadership Workshop led by Atlantic Council

Module 2: Customer Acquisition led by Georgetown University

July 5-6, 2022
July 19, 2022

Virtual private training on exporting hosted by UPS

Module 3: Growth Strategies led by Georgetown University

September 13-14, 2022
September 28, 2022

Regulations and Legal Structures that Impact Women in Business Workshop led by Atlantic Council

Virtual private training on sustainability hosted by PepsiCo

October 18, 2022
November 15-16, 2022

Module 4: Virtual pitch team competition hosted by Georgetown University

Impact of Societal Norms and Structures on Women’s Economic Empowerment Workshop led by Atlantic Council

December 13, 2022
January 24, 2023

Destigmatizing Failure and Promoting Business Risk Through Policies and Culture Workshop led by Atlantic Council

Roadshow to the United States for top five WIn Fellows

February 25 – March 2, 2023
March 2, 2023

Hybrid graduation ceremony for all WIn Fellows

Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East

The Atlantic Council’s work on social, economic and human development issues in the Middle East honors the legacy of Rafik Hariri and his life’s mission to unlock the human and economic potential of the Arab world.