Assia Riccio is the Founder of Evolvin’ Women and Nia Coffee. Both organisations are based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and aim at supporting the development of unemployed women from underprivileged backgrounds and women farmers in developing countries.
Assia is the former Group Learning and Development Manager at Jumeirah Restaurant Group (JRG) in Dubai where she developed the L&D strategy for over 1000 employees when JRG was a division with a portfolio of 42 restaurants.
She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economy and Business of Tourism in her native Italy in 2006 at Università degli Studi Parthenope in Naples and holds a dual certificate in Leadership and Personal Effectiveness in Switzerland from the Ecole Hotelier de Lausanne where she completed her studies in 2011. She obtained a certificate in Revenue and Financial Management at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY in 2012, where she was awarded a scholarship to pursue her studies in leadership. Assia is also a Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner recognised by the American Board of NLP and a PRISM Brain Mapping Practitioner.
Due to her commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals #4, #5 and #8 and her work in the field of equality of opportunity and inclusion through Evolvin’ Women, in 2017 Assia became a member of the UAE task-force for the implementation of the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), a collaboration between the UN Women and the United Nations Global Compact. As a result of embedding social responsibility in HR practices within the hospitality industry, in 2018 Evolvin’ Women became one of the first micro-enterprises to join the United Nations Global Compact and in 2019 Assia was appointed as Vice-Chair person of the WEPs task-force. Evolvin’ Women was presented as a sustainable tourism initiative for women at the Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Summit organised in the UAE by NAMA and UN WOMEN, the African Women in Tourism Summit, the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, the Rwanda Chamberthon organised by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and the ChangeNOW Summit in France where Evolvin’ Women was selected by the Dubai Government to represent Dubai on sustainability.
Assia is a member of the Dubai Business Women Council and an Advisory Board Member for Zawadi International for young entrepreneurs in Africa. She has been actively engaged in gender equality and social entrepreneurship for the past six years and is a regular speaker at international conferences including the HR Capital Forum Middle East, TEDx and the Investing in The Future, Middle East & North Africa Conference held in partnership with UNHCR, UNICEF, UNDP, and The League of Arab States.
Assia has been recognized as one of the GCC’s Women Leaders of 2017 and received the Women in Leadership Award by CMO ASIA and the Women Super Achiever Awards at the World HRD Congress 2018 for helping hospitality businesses in the Middle East and Africa embed social responsibility in their business practices and become catalysts for equality of opportunity. In 2018 Evolvin’ Women won Social Enterprise of the Year at the Arabian Business StartUp Awards in the UAE