Three successful women shared stories of digital technology’s role in the success of their businesses at interactive session Go and Grow Digital at the Women’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai organised by Mastercard and Female Fusion, the region’s largest network for women-owned businesses.
Lily Hoa Nguyen, Owner and Executive Chef, Vietnamese Foodies, said: “I was a single woman in Istanbul trying to sell my cooking class. I used a Facebook page. With that Facebook page, I was able to reach my first ever students. With the weekly cooking classes, we grew to 10,000 members. That is when I realised that we have a market and it is time to go physical. So it's no longer a cooking class – it became a restaurant.”
Jen Blandos, CEO, Female Fusion – the UAE’s largest community for women entrepreneurs, with more than 20,000 members – said: “Female Fusion was born 18 months ago, when I decided to convert a Facebook group into a licensed entity to give women platform to connect and network. I've owned businesses for 20 years, and I would say over the past two years, never have I used so much technology as I have now. I still feel that there's a lot of opportunities that our businesses are missing – that you can automate your business, whether it's digital payments, the way that you communicate with your customers or keep track of your customers in a CRM or handling finance and accounting.”
Leena Khalil, Co-Founder, Mumzworld – the largest e-commerce portal in the Middle East offering products for mothers and babies – said: “By creating an online platform we made it easy for moms to find products and really connecting with communities outside their immediate family. We succeeded because of technology and an engaged community of moms. Today, we are leaders in this field.”
Beatrice Cornacchia, Senior Vice President, Head of Marketing & Communications, Middle East & Africa, Mastercard – Official Payment Technology Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai – said: “While every brand wants to connect with consumers, what is changing is the way you can connect. And you can see that digital is the best way to develop your business. Mastercard has a huge commitment to connect 25 million SMEs to achieve the goal of taking digital technology to more businesses.”
Mastercard has a worldwide commitment to financial inclusion, pledging to bring a total of one billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025. As part of this effort, it has a direct focus on providing 25 million women entrepreneurs with solutions that can help them grow their businesses.
Text, photos and video: Expo Dubai 2020.