5.6.6 Does your university as a body have women’s mentoring schemes, in which at least 10% of female students participate?

As part of CUD’s community engagement , we have teamed up with the LINK Organization. The LINK,’ is a non-profit UAE initiative providing an active community platform where women from different ages and backgrounds can find support to advance professionally and to share workplace challenges,

After hosting the Induction Session, CUD has started its sixth cohort of the Programme. Professors from the University including Ms. Orsi, Dr. Louise, Ms. Dima and Dr. Fran have offered their services as Mentors and are then matched up through the LINK organization who then allocates them to Mentees according to their needs.

The LINK aims to empower women through learning and developmental initiatives, nurturing female talent and strengthening their leadership capacity. Ultimately, the LINK’s vision is to encourage and support women in different stages of their lives and careers.

In the latest arrangement, Shirin Mehri has teamed up with Dr. Franziska Apprich who will act as her Business Mentor. Previous Mentees have included Florelle Cloarec with Ms. Orsi,

After successfully completing projects in educations in Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Tanzania and the United States, Shirin is looking to leave her mark in the Entrepreneurship Education Ecosystem in the UAE. Since completing her MSc in Management in Entrepreneurial Leadership from Babson College, she has immersed herself in the startup and entrepreneurial world of Dubai, working for some of the region’s fastest growing enterprises.

As Operations Manager at BizWorld UAE, she is responsible for overseeing and implementing workshops that aim to instill the entrepreneurial spirit in children in the UAE between the ages of 7 and 15 years.

Commenting on her involvement in the Mentorship programme Shirin stated that with the ever changing educational environment we are experiencing today, she aims to refine her project management skills and work closely with Dr. Fran on a project focusing on Educational Board Games that will engage female students in understanding entrepreneurship both in and out of the classroom.

Dr. Fran and Shirin will be working on an entrepreneurship board game called ‘The Entrepreneuse.’

The game will show the different steps in creating a new company from the licensing process through to becoming profitable (in an amusing way).The game will show how you need team spirit, empathy and kindness to succeed in business and building a successful team and company. Grades and degrees are only part of the game…and a bad grade can be compensated and balanced out with kindness points.

The initiative will be supported by the recently formed Business Incubator initiative in CUD, in cooperation with Ryerson University headed by Dr. Fran, Head of Learning Zones and Incubators

Dr. Fran stressed that supporting young women has always been close to her heart. She has published books on the subject and with the support of Communications students she has created the ‘she for she campaign.’

“I want to inspire Shirin and support her to reach her creative and entrepreneurial potential and become a strong and independent woman.”

Ms. Orsi Urban who brought the LINK Mentoring Initiative to the University said it was important that young women should have the opportunity to learn from female mentors in a structured, safe, encouraging and professional relationship.


Two students from Canadian University Dubai (CUD) have embarked on the exclusive Women@Dior Mentorship Program, a coveted professional development opportunity that aims to boost the skills of talented young women to prepare them for a career in creative leadership.

The selection of Noura Itani and Leen Sharif among 200 students from ten international cities reflects the growing prominence of Dubai on the global creative industries landscape. This rising stature will receive a further boost with the upcoming launch of CUD’s suite of creative degree programs, developed and delivered in partnership with the world-renowned Faculty of Communication & Design at Ryerson University, Canada.

Alongside counterparts from cities including London, New York, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong, the two CUD students have benefited from one-on-one career advice, guidance and mentoring from a dedicated Christian Dior employee, as well as enjoying a study visit to Dior’s global headquarters in Paris.


Speaking about her experience, Noura said, “The Women@Dior Mentorship Program is more than just a typical mentoring scheme, it’s a fully-rounded personal and career development opportunity. It genuinely seeks to help young women, who have the talent and skills to become leaders in today’s world, to actually achieve their ambition and to unlock their full potential.

“The trip to Paris was an amazing experience and a great learning opportunity; we even met with renowned designer Maria Grazia Chiuri who shared her insights and inspirations. The whole initiative has made me more aware of my strengths and weaknesses and I have been consciously working to improve with the help of my mentor. I know that I have been able to grow as a person and a young professional too.”

An announcement earlier this year from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, signalled the launch of a new Creative Industries Contributions Index.

Brian Banford, Chief Advancement Officer at CUD, commented, “This recognition at the highest level shows that the creative sector is one of high economic return in the UAE, presenting outstanding opportunities for young professionals entering the industry in both production and executive roles.

“Through initiatives such as Women@Dior and academic programs like those launching at CUD, the foundations are being laid to feed all important talent into this fast growing, high-value industry.”


April 5th, 2017: Six students from Canadian University Dubai (CUD) have been selected to take part in the Women@Dior Mentorship Program, an exclusive career development opportunity provided by the world-leading luxury brand, Christian Dior Couture.

Accounting and finance students Zukhra Avazova and Hajar Asli; marketing majors Anais Mavioga and Sara Antonucci; human resources student Margret Ibrahim, and public relations major, Maria Surzhankaya, took six of the seven places on the coveted program.

Each member of the all-female group will now be matched with mentors from one of six business areas within Dior Middle East, from fashion retail, buying and finance, to marketing, human resources and public relations. They will benefit from guidance and support from a ‘big sister’ mentor, who will help them to find their personal identity and professional destiny, and to set them on the right path to success.

The Women@Dior Mentorship Program originated at the House of Dior in Paris. The initiative aims to connect enthusiastic, ambitious and talented students in need of guidance and support, with female mentors based at Dior, for a period of professional coaching.

The new program was launched with a breakfast at the Vogue Cafe in Dubai Mall, attended by the mentors, students and senior women in management positions within Christian Dior. Among the mentors, was Human Resources Area Coordinator, Charlotte Greet, who said, “Women@Dior is a program that I am extremely proud to be a part of – supporting and guiding young women in discovering their own professional destiny.

“Christian Dior is a fashion house that believes in the importance of women in business and the positive impact of supporting women to be inspired, to push boundaries and to grow into strong, independent career women.”

Speaking about the unique opportunity, marketing student Anais said, “Being mentored by members of Maison Dior is an amazing prospect as the craftsmanship, the heritage, and the notoriety of this house is well known all around the world. I am hoping it will give me the chance to learn some of the key skills and professional practices of the industry so that I can reach my career goals with more confidence.”

Public relations student, Maria, added, “This is much more than an opportunity to gain practical experience in PR; it is an important and influential initiative to empower girls in industry and I am very excited to be a part of it.”

CUD Work Placement and Career Coordinator, Ms Orsi Urban, supported the students with advice and guidance prior to their selection for the program. She said, “We are very proud that six out of the seven mentees are selected from CUD and we wholeheartedly congratulate the students on this achievement. I am sure that they will benefit enormously, both personally and professionally, from this exceptional learning opportunity.”

September 21st, 2015: Students from Canadian University Dubai (CUD) have heard from some of the region’s most inspiring women about how they made it to the top of their professions at the Arab Women in Leadership and Business Summit held recently in Dubai.

The five female student, who themselves have demonstrated their leadership qualities within the University community, heard from a diverse group of prominent business women, including Her Excellency Ameera Bin Karam, Chairperson of Sharjah Business Women Council; Her Excellency Maryam Al Suwaidi, Deputy CEO of the Licensing, Supervision & Enforcement Securities and Commodities Authority; and Nisreen Shocair, President of Virgin Megastore, Middle East.

Now in its second year, the event brought together existing and emerging leaders from the public and private sectors to discuss the obstacles and opportunities for women in society and to share their inspiring personal stories of success.

Among the keynote presenters was Her Excellency Dr. Maryam Matar, MD Chairman and Founder of the UAE Genetic Diseases Association, who delivered a captivating address that touched upon the importance of corporate culture and the part that businesses should play in supporting the role of women as both mothers and professionals.

Meanwhile, Rana El Chemaitelly, Founder of the pioneering education group, The Little Engineers, spoke about her inspiration for setting up the science-based edutainment business and how she manages her time to ensure the right balance between work and family life.

The students were accompanied by Student Services Manager, Mary-Alison Irvine, and CUD was the only higher education institution represented at this year’s Summit. International Business major Ginevra Nencha was one of those students taking part in event, and was both amazed and motivated by the stories that were told.

Ginevra said, “It was an honor to be in the presence of so many outstanding women and I have learnt some very valuable lessons from the experience; everything from choosing a career path that you feel passionate about to developing key skills that might be considered male-orientated, but are vital to success in the workplace.

“It was also a real confidence boost to meet with some of the women and get advice from them one-to-one on where they had succeeded and where they might have done things differently. It has opened my mind to the future possibilities in life and certainly inspired me to reach for my goals.”


The Dubai Real Estate Institute and The Impact Hub Dubai have announced the fifth round of the enterprise competition, Emirati Launchpad, at a recent presentation to students at Canadian University Dubai (CUD).

Emirati Launchpad is an initiative designed to motivate and encourage young Emirati entrepreneurs with a new business concept to pitch their idea and potentially launch their business. The seven week program focuses on ideating, validating, prototyping and reiterating participant’s business assumptions to define and refine a viable value proposition. In the final week, participants are invited to The Crowdfunding Pitch Competition where they get the opportunity to transform their idea into reality.

The main objective of the program is to motivate and inspire the younger generation of UAE Nationals to think outside the box and allow them to implement their business ideas through workshops, mentoring and community engagement.

The Impact Hub provides participants with entrepreneurial workshops led by an international facilitation team, 24/7 workspace access and an unrivalled networking platform, offering facilitated discussions with peers, partners, investors. Participants also have access to coaching and mentoring on self-development.

Dr. Katia Vianou Assistant Professor in the School of Communications & Media Studies said, “I think the Impact Hub Dubai and the Dubai Real Estate Institute have created excellent conditions for supporting the success of young Emirati entrepreneurs. We wanted to ensure that the students who have great business ideas and the audacity to transform them into reality could benefit from this opportunity.”

Student Eman Al Madan added, “The program helped me develop my business plan and initiate contact with the right people for my business. I've attended other workshops before but none of them have been as effective as Emirati Launchpad.”



The challenges posed by city sprawl were the subject of an intensive week of debate and action planning for a group of students from Canadian University Dubai (CUD) who took part in a recent event to introduce young people to the principles and practices of leading change in global society.

The Global Leader Experience, led by UK-based leadership development organization, Common Purpose, was hosted by DP World and brought together university students from across the UAE in an invaluable experience that saw them receive guidance and mentoring from leading business executives as they worked through the four-day challenge.

Members of the CUD delegation, which included Finance and Accounting student Adnan Marei, and Bachelor of Science in Telecommunication major, George Bandak, were first assigned to groups, where they were then introduced to the project brief.

Adnan explained, "Our challenge was to consider a global problem - city sprawl - from a local perspective. We had to look at our own environment, local businesses, transport and service providers, and come up with solutions that could be implemented to deal with the issue here in Dubai."

George continued, "The process allowed us to undertake emersion visits, to meet with some of the key organizations who would be involved in addressing the challenges, such as the RTA and metro operators Cerco, to discuss the main issues and potential solutions."

Throughout the process the students benefitted from the mentoring expertise of senior business executives from private sector organizations, who shared their expertise in a range of areas including investment, operations, HR, media and business development. The teams were also supported by academic mentors and were guided in the development of their solutions by representatives from host organization, DP World.

Both Adnan and George took the opportunity to lead their teams in stakeholder discussions, and by day four, the groups had worked up sets of recommendations proposing concepts ranging from integrated transport systems and greenbelt development, to the creation of self-sufficient comminutes supported by remote services such as distance learning and online shopping.

CUD Business School Professor, Jeanette Teh, was one of the academic mentors for the program. She said, "The interaction with and receiving feedback on their ideas from business professionals, many of whom were high-level executives, from diverse industries was an unparalleled learning experience for our students."

For Adnan, it was an extremely challenging but rewarding four days. He said, "The process pushed us to our limits on a daily basis; it has helped me progress as a leader, as well as developing my skills in presentation, critical-thinking and relationship building."

Speaking of his own reflections on the event, George concluded, "This program was an extremely valuable lesson in leadership. I learnt that leading is not about speaking for your team members, but about supporting each of them to bring forward their ideas and uniting them in a common direction."

On graduating from the program, the CUD participants joined a 50,000 strong worldwide alumni association, and gained access to the Common Purpose Massive Online Innovation Community - an international platform allowing them to connect with likeminded people across the globe.



A paper by Dr. Naveed Yasin, Associate Professor in Entrepreneurship, Faculty of Management at Canadian University Dubai, titled ‘Assessing the Enterprising Tendencies of Arab Female Undergraduate Engineering Students’ has been accepted for publication in ‘Industry and Higher Education’, a UK journal indexed in ABS and Scopus.

The paper assesses the entrepreneurship characteristics of first-year undergraduate female chemical engineering students. Pre- and post-surveys were conducted among 27 respondents from an entrepreneurship boot camp module as mandated by the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE).

According to Dr. Naveed, the variables were statistically measured to assess the need for achievement, autonomy, creativity, risk-taking, and locus of control on the enterprising behaviours of students. This was followed by qualitative semi-structured interviews that were examined using Thematic Analysis approach. The comparison between students’ enterprise tendencies indicates improvements in their entrepreneurial abilities and understandings of entrepreneurial behaviour. The most noticeable impact was on students’ risk-taking abilities, followed by creativity, need for achievement, need for control and lastly, their need for autonomy.

Speaking about his research, Dr. Naveed Yasin said, “The value of this paper provides initial exploration and insights towards the enterprising characteristics among an empirically under-explored demographic and non-business group.” He also mentioned that he is currently working on developing a similar program of research at CUD in collaboration with a colleague from Canada.

Before joining the Canadian University Dubai in August 2019, Dr. Naveed had been teaching Entrepreneurship and Innovation over the past 10 years in UK and Oman.