Mastercard Women SME Leaders Awards returns for second edition to celebrate women business leaders across the region

April 5, 2023 | Dubai, UAE
  • Nominations open to Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa region
  • Winners will be announced on 2 May 2023 in a virtual awards ceremony


5 April 2023; Dubai, UAE: The Mastercard Women SME Leaders Awards will return for its second edition to recognize the achievements of women-owned and run small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and to create role models that inspire the next generation of female entrepreneurs across Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (EEMEA).

Launched in 2022 to empower entrepreneurial women, the awards shine a spotlight on women who are shaping the future of the region. Following a successful event, the 2023 edition will extend to Eastern Europe, where women leaders and their accomplishments through the past year will be rewarded and celebrated.

Nominations are now open for the awards and can be submitted HERE by 22 April 2023.  

“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,” said Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President, Market Development, EEMEA for Mastercard.

SMEs owned and run by women and with a turnover of less than US$13.6 million (AED50 million) and employing between six to 50 people are all invited to participate. Winners will be announced on 2 May 2023 in a virtual awards ceremony.

All women executives or business owners who have their headquarters or offices in Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa or offer their services to these markets can submit their nominations for one or more of the 22 categories. Individuals can win in more than one category.

Jointly organized by Mastercard and Entrepreneur Middle East, the shortlisted companies will be assessed by a judging committee that will be chaired by Mastercard.

The committee consists of:

  • Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President, Market Development, EEMEA for Mastercard
  • Tamara Pupic, Managing Editor of Entrepreneur Middle East
  • Nezha Alaoui, CEO, Women Choice


The awards are 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.

Last year’s awards received 4,021 nominations across the Middle East and Africa.

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.

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