Aspiring young businesswomen to get taste of hospitality industry

Sharjah council seeks to act as catalyst in bringing together would-be graduate entrepreneurs with funds and consultants.

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ABU DHABI // Aspiring businesswomen will be offered a sample of what's on the menu in the food and drinks industry today at a special workshop by the Sharjah Businesswomen's Council. Ameera bin Karam, the chairwoman of the organisation, said: "The funds and the consultants are there, the fresh graduates are there, and they have the confidence. Acting as the catalyst, I'm putting them together under one roof."

Industry insiders will offer tips and advice, as well as providing hands-on experience. Miss bin Karam said: "We wanted people who can guide women through the set-up. Now is the time to start encouraging women." The food and beverage industry has experienced rapid expansion in recent years, and is seen as more open to women than other developing fields. "We are encouraging women to venture into the business side of Sharjah," Miss bin Karam said. "We are trying to steer women into new businesses, and identify new sectors ."

Since the council was founded in 2002 to encourage women to contribute to economic development, a plethora of new fields have become open to women. "On the professional level, women have come a long way," Miss bin Karam said. "They now have the confidence to venture into private business." The council helps women improve their skills in a broad range of entrepreneurial endeavours, with the abaya and beauty industries among those seeing the most growth. The council aims to support women seeking to set up their own businesses. "Fresh graduates are now more confident and more equipped with knowledge. We want to get them into the business world and develop them," she said.

The workshop, led by Daniel Guillermo, a food and beverages consultant and founder of the hospitality consultants Thomas Klein International, is designed to provide a sample of what the business could offer. Representatives from the Sharjah Ladies Club will be present, giving insights into the industry and speaking of their personal experiences within it. Financial investors Ruwad Establishments will offer advice on securing start-up loans.

The event takes place at 5pm at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.