The Business and Professional Women Association (BPWA) is working with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) on a project for “Promoting women empowerment for Inclusive and Sustainable Development in the Middle East and North Africa region” to enhance women’s economic inclusion and thus to create the conditions for a sustainable and inclusive growth by harnessing the great potential of women entrepreneurs in the MENA region. This is a consortium project that includes Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia.
The project approach is holistic and builds on three levels:
- It will nurture, facilitate and accompany the policy dialogue between the key stakeholders with the objective to produce a set of recommendations and actions points endorsed by all parties to promote women entrepreneurship in the region.
- It will strengthen the capacities of national business women’s associations in providing better quality and demand-driven services to women entrepreneurs to create and grow their businesses
- It will directly promote about 200 promising women-led investments in the target countries through training, coaching, identification and facilitation of business partnerships opportunities and access to finance.
Within the framework of this project, and in collaboration with BPWA’s national workforce, BPWA has managed to achieve the following:
- A trade mission to Milan/Italy was organized in 2015 for BPWA members; it promoted Business To Business (B2B) opportunities to its members with different Italian companies and enabled them to network with regional and international business women and role models.
- Ongoing Business To Business (B2B) opportunities and linkages are offered for BPWA members with different regional and international enterprises; including partnership opportunities, investment opportunities and business deals.
- Organized and gave financial and business creation & growth process counselling for selected women entrepreneurs according to their needs.
- Jordanian business women have managed to officially establish and register their own companies, others have and are working on expanding their existing businesses.
- Participated in a research conducted on Women entrepreneurship development in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia. The research’s findings provided an updated set of information on the status of women entrepreneurship development in the target countries, identified the specific challenges, perceptions and expectations of women entrepreneurs in each country when creating and expanding enterprises; provided recommendations to promote a conducive business environment; and reinforce the dialogue among key public and private stakeholders. In addition, a benchmarking analysis has been carried out with Australia, Italy and Turkey to identify best practices in the area of women entrepreneurship development.
To read more about the project click here for the Arabic version of the technical paper or here for the English version.