Egypt's Nadia El Din named regional winner of the 2020 Cartier Women’s Initiative Award

Founded to help support mothers, her company Rahet Bally will now receive significant funding and support

Nadia El Din has been named the Middle East winner of the 2020 Cartier Women's Initiative. Courtesy Cartier
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Cartier has announced the winners of its 2020 Women’s Initiative Awards, with Nadia El Din collecting the regional title for her motherhood support platform, Rahet Bally.

Set up in 2014 to offer mothers financial, physical, emotional and intellectual assistance, Rahet Bally – which translates as ‘peace of mind’ –has helped an estimated 150,000 women across Egypt to date.

"Mums start crying when they come in because it's the first time anyone is taking care of them," El Din told The National in April of her organisation. "They can have a shower. They can drink a cup of coffee while it's still hot. It's a place where they can actually breathe again."

The announcement means El Din will receive $100,000 (Dh367,250) in funding, plus a scholarship to the elite Insead Social Entrepreneurship Executive Education Programme.

The two other Middle East finalists were Dr Rasha Rady from Egypt and her medicine tracking organisation Chefaa, and Blooming B's, set up in Saudi Arabia by Rihab Hasanain to tackle childhood obesity.

Established in 2006, the annual Women’s Initiative prize was launched by Cartier to support female entrepreneurs, and each year is inundated with applicants. This year, for example, 1,200 women applied.

For the awards, the globe is divided into seven geographical regions, and three businesses per region are shortlisted each year for intensive business training and support. From those, one woman per sector is announced as the winner and receives the full funding. The remaining 18 companies each receive $30,000 (Dh110,175) in funding, plus additional business training.

Having already expressed a goal to “expand outside Cairo to the rest of the Mena region", being named a laureate for 2020 means that El Din and Rahet Bally are now one step closer to making that happen.