Meet The Lebanese Behind One Of The Middle East’s Biggest Platform For Women’s Empowerment

Elissa Freiha

Lebanese women have been working for decades to keep the name of Lebanon high abroad. Many of them, like Dr. Saniya Habboub, have made headlines around the world for their bravery and ingenuity.

Lebanese Elissa Freiha is no different. Named after Elissar, a Phoenician queen, she was inspired to find her kingdom, Womena, one of the Middle East’s biggest platforms for Women’s Empowerment.

Womena is a media creating content around women change-makers. The platform also has a program for women-led businesses, Womentum, and an online community, Bossladies.

Born in Paris and based in Dubai, the Lebanese-American activist and feminist uses her multi-culture to promote respect for all people.

When she was graduating from university in Paris, she spent her last semester studying oil painting and philosophy, as well as working as a barista and baker during her free time.

At the age of 23, she took a bold step and decided to move to Dubai to start an investment platform with no experience or knowledge of finance.

Freiha succeeded despite the doubt and founded Womena in 2013 with her best friend. Barely 3 years later after its launch, the platform won multiple awards for its work.

However, the business model and the friendship failed, and Freiha had to work hard again for her what she deemed as her personal mission., She hence succeeded in creating a more complex business model for her platform.

Telling the stories of female changemakers, Womena has been addressing gender inequality by creating compelling women-focused content and making an impact through documentaries, articles, podcasts, and more.

In addition to her positivism to change the perception of women and advocating for their respect, many describe Freiha as an entrepreneur or an angel investor (35+ Portfolio Companies) as she had won awards for both titles.

Elissa Freiha is also a poet, a mentor, an executive producer at Womentum, a TV and Events host, and an influencer. Her remarkable endeavors have earned a position on Forbes’ MENA “30 Under 30” list in 2018 and on The Middle East’s Power Businesswomen in 2021.

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