After a widely positive reception to the first season, Womena’s hit series Womentum is back to tell more incredible stories of the grit and determination of women-led startups across the MENA region.
“Once we put out the first season, the response was just incredible. Young Arab girls and women in the Middle East and in diaspora were all sending us these amazing messages of encouragement about how the stories of these incredible entrepreneurs had motivated them,” Elissa Freiha, Founder of Womena tells StartupScene. “That response from the next generation of women entrepreneurs was really what fortified that there must be a second season.”
Melding the high ante format of reality TV with the zeal and ambition of entrepreneurs, media company and entrepreneurship platform Womena is releasing a second season of their riveting web series Womentum. The docu-series is focused on women-led startups in the region, with eight startups all vying for the $100,000 investment throughout an accelerator programme that galvanises the entrepreneurs’ craft and livelihood. With so much on the line, and so much determination among the participants, the show will have viewers on the edge of their seats, so make sure to have your popcorn handy.
“We knew the stories needed to continue being told. It wasn’t just regional audiences that were blown away, but also from the perspective of an international audience had never seen this aspect of our ecosystem,” adds Freiha. “These fantastic entrepreneurs were challenging narratives and shaping their own on this new exciting platform.”
“Ideally what I really would love for audiences to take away from Womentum is that these women are just doing phenomenal work, really. They’re affecting great change in the region and creating job opportunities. These entrepreneurs are so impressive, and they’re not necessarily this image we’ve been fed of what an entrepreneur looks like through Shark Tank or Forbes magazine covers.”
The show not only boasts a great cohort of women entrepreneurs in front of the camera, but also behind it. This season’s director, Farida Fawzy, is an Egyptian journalist and filmmaker that set out to tell the story of these startups and the people behind them.
“Shooting this season was equal parts challenging and rewarding. Think 6 AM to midnight shooting days, hopping off from Cairo to Beirut to Tunis to Dubai to Berlin within a span of a week,” Fawzy tells Startup Scene. “I got to work and learn from incredibly inspiring humans: the startups’ founders, Womena’s team and the film crew. It all tied together for us to deliver this authentic and transparent storytelling approach to showcase the good, the bad and the ugly of starting your own businesses. The joy, grit and the sacrifices it takes out of you.”
While Fawzy isn’t entirely versed in all the ecosystem’s in and outs, she was immediately enamoured, and not just by all the flashy buzzwords and acronyms, but as a case study of what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
“I might’ve been new to the entrepreneurship world, but I still sought out to tell this story in a relatable way. I got to know the founders as people first, capturing their quirky idiosyncrasies and character-revealing moments. And it was a learning experience because throughout the season we do explain startup jargon that I found myself constantly Googling,” Fawzy adds. “Aesthetically, the series is bold, dynamic, colorful and sometimes chaotic — mirroring the entrepreneur’s experience. And it was really important to me that we highlight and support Arab talent, from the founders themselves, to the artists featured on the soundtrack.”
The season kicks off July 8th 2020, with a new episode coming out each week. The show will be running for ten episodes showcasing the nuanced journeys of startups from all across the region. This season’s roster includes Luxury Promise, Chefaa, Dabchy, Pas-sport, Dimension 14, FreshSource, Makerbrane & DCT.
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