PublisHer and Visa sign agreement to collaborate on projects supporting women in publishing and promote activities in the entrepreneurial space

PublisHer Founder Bodour Al Qasimi and Dr. Saeeda Jaffar, Visa Senior Vice President and Group Country Manager for GCC, agree to multi-level partnership providing funding, training, and mentorship opportunities to aspiring women publishers in the UAE.

Sharjah, April 28, 2024

PublisHer, the international platform aiming to address entrenched gender imbalances and drive a worldwide agenda for change within the global publishing industry, has signed an agreement with Visa, a world leader in digital payments, with the aim of enhancing each other’s endeavours supporting women in publishing and entrepreneurial spaces.

Signed by PublisHer Founder Bodour Al Qasimi and Dr. Saeeda Jaffar, Visa’s Senior Vice President and Group Country Manager for GCC, on the sidelines of the 2024 Sharjah International Booksellers Conference, this agreement will provide women in the UAE with educational opportunities, mentorship sessions, market insights, and professional advice to help them better establish themselves in regional and international business ecosystems.

Marking the first venture in this important collaboration, Visa has sponsored the ‘PublisHer Lounge’ at the 2024 Sharjah International Booksellers Conference, and arranged workshops for female publishers in partnership the International Trade Centre’s SheTrades Initiative, She Trades. Featuring speakers from the publishing and business sectors, the lounge provides unique access to informative and educational sessions for women in publishing on how they can achieve their career and business goals, as well as offering advice on professional presentation, opportunities to receive personal style guidance and a business portrait. Later this year the ‘PublisHer Lounge’ – in partnership with Visa, will also feature at the Sharjah International Book Fair as part of PublisHer’s extensive program of events.

Further, as part of this collaboration, PublisHer will support Visa in running the next cycle of the ‘She’s Next’ project, focussing on the publishing sector. ‘She’s Next’ is Visa’s global advocacy program which aims to support women-owned small businesses through funding, training, and mentorship and PublisHer will be a collaborative partner for the project, providing unique insight into issues surrounding gender disparity, both regionally and internationally.

Commenting on this partnership, Bodour Al Qasimi said: “The ability to collaborate closely with strategic partners has been a key part of PublisHer’s success since its establishment in 2019. We are therefore delighted to collaborate with Visa, and to be working alongside them as we strive to address pervasive gender imbalances in our respective sectors. The aims and ambitions of both PublisHer and Visa – through the She’s Next project, are aligned in many ways. By signing this agreement, we are better placed to enhance the support we provide to women in publishing and in business.”

Dr. Saeeda Jaffar, Visa’s SVP and Group Country Manager for GCC, said: “Visa is thrilled to announce this partnership with PublisHer, a groundbreaking organization focused on rectifying gender imbalances in global publishing. This collaboration amplifies our commitment to supporting women in publishing and entrepreneurship. Our She’s Next, and a separate stream for female publishers – a first-of-its-kind venture, underscores this commitment. With PublisHer’s support, we aim to empower women-owned businesses through the ‘She’s Next’ program, offering funding, training, and mentorship. Together, we are committed to fostering equity and inclusion in the publishing industry.”