Women in Tech Startup Competition launched by the United World Tourism Organization

By: GWL Team | Thursday, 13 April 2023

The United World Tourism Organisation has launched a new competition in Riyadh that will be known as the Women in Tech Startup Competition. In order to support and promote the female innovators of the region, this event was launched in Biban, Saudi Arabia's biggest SME Conference. The main goal of the event Women in Tech Startup Competition is to support the female entrepreneurs in their workforce and provide them ample amount of opportunities to expand their businesses and firms both locally and internationally.

The competition was initiated by Natalia Bayona who is the Director of Innovation, Education, and Investment at UNWTO. This competition was started by UNWTO with an aim to promote women entrepreneurs and provide them a chance to thrive in their tourism tech careers, aligning with Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030. The vision emphasizes digital transformation, enhancing social development, and prominently digitalizing the tourism industry with women leaders.

A report by UNESCO named Cracking the Code: Girls and Women's Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) states that the percentage of females in the STEM fields has increased significantly.

57 per cent of females in STEM are from the Arab region, and 61 per cent of females are university graduates from STEM. 34 per cent of females are into tech startups. The study also says that there are more tech startups laid by women rather than companies in Europe.

The percentage of females in the tech industry has shown a sudden rise as compared to the list for 2021. Saudi Arabia is also a great place for pioneers and leaders in the STEM fields like Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, UAE Minister of State for Advanced Technology and Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency.

According to the PcW's MENA Women in Work Survey, around 20 to 40 per cent of women in the region work, with Gulf nations ranking highest and Egypt and Jordan the lowest.

The Women in Tech Startup Competition by UNWTO is a great opportunity for female entrepreneurs to get recognition and to serve as role models for the aspiring younger generation girls.

The competition will comprise social impact, experience, communication, tourism and travel, future tech, and events. The winners of this competition will receive mentorship and guidance with workshops from the UNWTO. The finalists will receive access to a network of over 447 investors, 1247 firm's and also the officials of international governments and universities will provide both business and scholarship opportunities.

The participants who will be eligible for the competition should belong to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Egypt, Iraq, Oman, Libya, Lebanon, Bahrain, Syria, and Qatar and must have a tested pilot, a fully operational team and a business plan.