Name: Sofana Rabea Dahlan

Location: Saudi Arabia

Occupation: Lawyer and social entrepreneur; Vice Governor of Entrepreneurship Advancement at the Small and Medium Enterprises Authority in Saudi Arabia

Fields of Expertise: Legal matters; professional social entrepreneurship; women rights and empowerment in innovation and social development in the Middle East and the North Africa region

Sofana Dahlan is the first Saudi woman to have ever been granted permission to study law by the Saudi Ministry of Higher Education. However, only after 13 years of persistence has she received the licence to practice law in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Sofana is currently Vice Governor for Entrepreneurship Advancement at the Small & Medium Enterprises Authority (SMEA), Board Member of The Sayyidah Khadijah Bint Khuwailid Foundation (RA) a member of the board of directors of the R.S.D. Foundation for Human Development that focuses on building leadership capacity in the field of human development in the Arab World. Sofana writes extensively on topics such as women’s rights, social values and interreligious dialogue.

She has also been the first Saudi citizen to serve as a fellow for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations on a tour of Europe and the United States. And has founded companies such as the National Creative Initiative (SNCI)

Sofana Dahlan has worked as a legal consultant in different parts of the Arab world. She is also the founder of different enterprises, and CEO of Tashkeil Global Company - a social enterprise based in Saudi Arabia that incubates and promotes creative entrepreneurs.

In 2011, for her Saudi National Creative initiative, Sofana was chosen to participate in the Harvard University Executive program “Leading for the Future: The Arab Region in a Changing World”. In 2015, she was also recognized as one of the Young Global Leaders at the World Economic Forum.

An icon in female empowerment, a very successful and internationally recognized woman, Sofana admits that she has faced numerous struggles in her life, whether it was becoming a lawyer, setting up a business and running it solely, or being a single mother, she admits it has been a constant and persistent struggle, based on bold decisions and a strong will to never give up.