Context and objectives
This project enhanced women’s economic inclusion by harnessing the great potential of female entrepreneurs. It also helped create the conditions for sustainable and inclusive growth.
Women’s economic participation and empowerment are fundamental to strengthening women’s rights. Female entrepreneurship is an untapped source of growth, prosperity and poverty reduction, as well as being key to creating more equitable societies.
Supported by the UfM in November 2015, this project was the first in the region to support female entrepreneurship on 3 levels: macro (policy dialogue), meso (reinforcing the capacities of women’s business associations) and micro (strengthening the entrepreneurship capacities of female entrepreneurs).
Provide data to inform policy recommendations and encourage policy reform that leads to an environment that encourages female entrepreneurship.
Build the capacities of female entrepreneurs and Businesswomen’s Associations (BWA) through training programmes.
Identify investment opportunities and facilitate access to finance through regional and international financial institutions such as the Union for Arab Banks, the joint World Bank/IFC and Goldman Sachs Fund, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, etc.
€1.4M – Italian Government
€22K – Promoter
The project promoter was the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), which promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalisation and environmental sustainability. More specifically, the project was implemented by the Investment and Technology Unit (ITU) which is part of the UNIDO Business, Investment and Technology Branch. UNIDO’s ITU has a vast experience in the area of investment promotion and entrepreneurship development and offers tools and methodologies to boost enterprise creation and growth.
The beneficiaries of this project are the 7 national businesswomen’s associations and 2000 female entrepreneurs involved in the training, counselling and capacity-building sessions.
Mapping and analysing the landscape of female entrepreneurship in the region.
Facilitating policy dialogue between the key stakeholders, including public actors.
Reinforcing the capacities of the MENA Businesswomen’s Associations (BWA).
Identifying investment opportunities and facilitating access to finance for female entrepreneurs.
Improved knowledge of women’s entrepreneurship in the MENA region.
Strengthened capacities for 400 representatives of the National Businesswomen’s Association, enabling them to provide entrepreneurship development services to other women.
2000 female entrepreneurs trained in entrepreneurship and how to formulate business plans.
Facilitated access to investment and finance for at least 500 promising businesses.
800 new jobs created during the period of the project.