Mastercard has announced the return of Women SME Leaders Awards for its third edition, shining a spotlight on the achievements of women-owned and led businesses across Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (EEMEA).

Nominations are now open for the awards, inviting entries from women-owned and operated SMEs with a turnover of less than $13,6-million and a workforce of six to 50 employees. All women executives or business owners who have their headquarters or offices in EEMEA or offer their services to these markets can submit their nominations by 20 May 2024.

“Women-owned and led businesses are vital contributors to the global economy, fostering economic growth and stability. By empowering women entrepreneurs and business leaders, we unlock the boundless potential they have and drive inclusive prosperity. The Mastercard Women SME Leaders Awards aim to recognize and celebrate their remarkable contributions,” says Amnah Ajmal, executive vice-president: market development for EEMEA at Mastercard.

Winners will be announced on 6 June 2024, during an in-person event in Dubai.

The awards will feature 15 categories, ranging from creative leadership to social impact and a lifetime achievement award. Shortlisted candidates will be evaluated by an esteemed judging committee of industry leaders dedicated to recognising excellence and innovation in women-owned and led businesses.

Launched in 2022 to uplift female entrepreneurs and business leaders, the awards serve as a platform to honour and elevate women who are forging the path for future generations of business leaders in the region.