Speakers shared their experiences as women entrepreneurs in the Middle East's creative industry.
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, 29th March 2021 - Canon Middle East recently concluded the first session of the ‘Frontiers of Innovation 2021' in an online format, which saw leading women entrepreneurs from the creative industry talk about the importance of spreading awareness and fostering women empowerment.
This year's edition began with the session on ‘Empowering Women in the Creative Industry', taking place in the wake of the International Women's Day, celebrated on 8th March Discussions ranged from latest trends in the MENA region's creative industries to the significant role that women play in the growth of this sector.
Moderated by Eithne Treanor, CEO and founder of E Treanor Media, the session hosted three inspiring women from the MENA region namely, Marriam Mossali, founder of Niche Arabia, a premier luxury consulting agency in Saudi Arabia; Aya Toukan, founder of The ART Trove, a fusion of artisan-made products and contemporary, handcrafted home-décor; and Canon ambassador in the region, Tasneem Alsultan.
Canon has always advocated for women empowerment and believes that women play a major role in the development of all industries as well as the society. Women have been a driving force during the COVID-19 pandemic, showing resilience and patience in the face of unprecedented crisis. During the first session, the discussion took viewers on a journey as the guest speakers reflected on what it meant to be a woman entrepreneur in the creative industry.
Aya reflected on the importance of financial freedom and growth for women these days. “It is no longer considered a taboo if women decide to showcase their creative side and make a living out of it as this is one of the most important changes we have seen in our society over the years,” she said.
The speakers also shared their stories and experiences as well as the challenges that plague the industry. Aya said that there are women with huge potential just waiting for an opportunity to prove themselves. “Hence, I wanted to take the initiative to bring these artisans women forward and provide them the boost they need to get into the job sector,” she said.
Marriam added that it is never too late for women to achieve their dreams and strive for independence as they work towards realizing them. “I launched Saudi Style Council just this year to help champion local creatives and connect them with international brands and companies” she said, while adding the country has collectively shown growth in the creative sector and that the COVID-19 pandemic brought people even closer.
“It is high time that women find their voice and discover their love and passion for storytelling. Earlier, women were not given many opportunities to educate themselves or explore their creativity. There was fear of being criticized but now, things are changing,” added Tasneem.
Marriam said the country's younger generation will reap the benefits of these changes. “They can look forward to an aspirational future with abundant resources to succeed in the creative industry,” she added.
Since its launch in 2016, the Frontiers of Innovation panel discussion has aimed to provide a platform to bring together visionary speakers and trailblazers, driving innovation and ideas, gain insights and experiences, and generate solutions.
Mai Youssef, Corporate Communications and Marketing Services Director of Canon Middle East said: “As we celebrated International Women's Day this year, it is only fitting to host women entrepreneurs from the MENA region for our first session of ‘Frontiers of Innovation'. The speakers we hosted are an inspiration for other women to break the glass ceiling. The discussion offers a platform for industry experts to share anecdotes and experiences and contributes to large-scale knowledge transfer. We aspire to continue to host such stimulating conversations in the upcoming panels that will continue to influence our audience.”
This year's edition of ‘Frontiers of Innovation' will be held as a monthly series with new topics for each session, discussing key evolving aspects on the latest trends in the region's leading industries. The upcoming sessions will cover a diverse range of topics including future cities and the healthcare industry.