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Nominations Now Open For This Year’s Edition Of Mastercard’s Women SME Leaders Awards Happening On May 2, 2023

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Nominations are now open for the 2023 edition of the Women SME Leaders Awards hosted by Mastercard and Entrepreneur Middle East, an annual event that aims to empower women-owned and run SMEs across across Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

Female executives or business owners who have their headquarters or offices in Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa, or offer their services to these markets, need to submit their applications here before April 22, 2023. Winners will be announced on May 2, 2023, in a virtual awards ceremony.

The 2023 Women SME Leaders Awards marks the second edition of this annual event that aims to create role models that inspire the next generation of female entrepreneurs across Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

Commenting on the awards, Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President, Market Development, EEMEA for Mastercard, said, in a statement: “Women-owned and led businesses are a powerful force in the global economy and key drivers of economic transformation and stability. Empowering budding women entrepreneurs will not only help drive inclusive growth, but also unlock their unlimited potential, enabling a thriving economy that works for all. This is why we are bringing back the Women SME Leaders Awards to recognize and celebrate their success stories and accomplishments.”

Shortlisted companies will be vetted by the Entrepreneur Middle East team and then passed onto the judging committee that will be chaired by Mastercard.

Following the independent evaluation of the shortlisted candidates by each of the judges, the winners will then be decided by a vote by a jury that includes Ajmal, Tamara Pupic, Managing Editor of Entrepreneur Middle East, and Nezha Alaoui, Founder and CEO, Women Choice.

Launched in 2022 to empower entrepreneurial women, the Women SME Leaders Awards staged by Mastercard and Entrepreneur Middle East aims to shine a spotlight on women who are shaping the future of the emerging markets around the globe.

Following a successful event last year, which attracted 4,021 nominations across the Middle East and Africa, the 2023 edition will extend to Eastern Europe.

The project is aligned with Mastercard’s global commitment to connect 25 million women entrepreneurs to the digital economy by 2025, as part of its goal to build a more sustainable and inclusive world.

The Women SME Leaders Awards 2023 are being presented in 22 categories – for more information about each of them, please check out the official website here. The site also lists all of the necessary guidelines for the nomination process.

Those interested in attending the virtual event can register here. For any enquires relating to the Women SME Leaders Awards 2023, please email

Related: The Recap: Women SME Leaders Awards 2022

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