Resources For Middle Eastern and North African Women-Owned Businesses

Passion for entrepreneurship is surging for Middle Eastern and North African entrepreneurs, both in the United States and abroad. According to the Meridian Center, in 2015, the Entrepreneurship Development For Women in the Middle East and North Africa program brought more than 30 entrepreneurs from the region to the U.S. for training, education, and mentorship. And in the U.S, new organizations are popping up to support these dynamic communities of women who start their own businesses.

At SELF MADE, we know you are more than ready to capitalize on the support. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 36 percent of women with established businesses want to grow, and coming together and sharing resources is the best way to do start the process. Learn more about available resources here.

Resources For Funding

Funding your small business is necessary for growth and success. Below are resources for funding that cater to Middle Eastern & North African women. For more resources, please see our “ALL WOMEN” section.


Provides small business loans and support for underrepresented small business owners, including minority women.

Aspen Capital Fund

This fund offers not only funds, but also options on how to grow your business in all ways properly and financially stable. Specializes in minority-owned businesses.

Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition

A contest  for social entrepreneurs (for profit or nonprofit) with at least one Arab-identifying member on the team. Awards funding.

Women’s Angel Investment Network

Invests in women-led startups with a preference for women companies based in the UAE.

Resources For Training

Starting a business requires ongoing training and development to ensure your growth and success. Below, you’ll find a number of organizations offering training and development that cater to Middle Eastern and North African entrepreneurs.

8(a) Business Development Program

This is a program developed by the Small Business Administration to help small minority-owned businesses develop a competitive advantage.

Access Communities

An organization in the Southern Detroit area that provides resources for the local, largely Arab-American immigrant population.

Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE)

The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) helps immigrant African women in the United States develop entrepreneurial skills.

African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP)

An intensive program that brings entrepreneurs to the United States for training.

Minority Business Development Agency

This site is one stop shopping for training, grants, and loans for all minorities.

The Entrepreneurship Development For Women in the Middle East and North Africa Program

A government organization that brings entrepreneurs from around the world in for an immersive two-week program.

Resources for Networking

We believe you should never have to go it alone, and there’s always someone in your community who has been down the path you have walked. Check here for organizations that can help.

Arab-American Association of New York (AAANY)

A support group for Arab-American immigrants to help them as they adapt to American society. Services include adult education programs, social services and more.

Arab-American Chamber of Commerce (AACC)

The AACC is committed to improving the quality of life for Arab-Americans through economic development and legislative advocacy. They also advocate on behalf of Arab businesses operating in America.

Arab-American Family Support Center

A support organization that provides social services to Arab-American immigrant families and children who are adjusting to American culture; as well as provide assistance with American laws.

Arab-American Women’s Business Council

An organization supporting the professional and entrepreneurial Arab-American community of Dearborn, Michigan.

Arab Bankers Association of North America (ABANA)

This national nonprofit is a professional membership based organization for those in financial service and related industries.

Arab World Meets Silicon Valley Program

A week-long immersive program, where entrepreneurs participate in conferences and workshops and receive mentorship and pitching sessions with experts, industry leaders, investors, role models in the community, and other successful entrepreneurs.

Bilateral US-Arab Chamber of Commerce

This is a membership-based networking organization composed of business leaders throughout the world. The Chamber helps foster relationships with key-decision makers in the United States and Middle East/North Africa that create economic growth and advancement.

Iranian American Women’s Foundation

Empowering Iranian-American women across the United States.

National Arab-American Medical Association (NAAMA)

A national nonprofit educational network of medical and dental professionals of Arab descent in the United States.

The Persian American Women’s Conference

A platform to showcase the accomplishment of Iranian-American women, and to empower, educate, and encourage leadership among Iranian women of all ages.

The Red Shoe Movement

After finding success with her book and social-media-based “red shoe” movement to support professional women, Argentinian-American Mariela Dabbah decided to start hosting immigrant-friendly events for all women, where participants choose the subjects and find network within, and outside of, their community.

Upwardly Global

Connects skilled immigrants with professional career opportunities.