ROME, APRIL 4 – In the framework of the project “Promoting women empowerment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development in the MENA region” the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Italian Agency of Cooperation for Development (AICS), Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the Entrepreneurs Association and Women Business Leaders (AIDDA) organized a Round Table on “Access to finance: challenges and good practices to support women in business in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia”.
Convened in Rome, at palazzetto Mattei/Villa Celimontana, the Round Table presented and discussed the UNIDO Technical paper “A study on Women Entrepreneurship Development in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia”, to promote increased awareness of the challenges and opportunities of women entrepreneurship in MENA countries and to foster the debate on possible solutions for the identified challenges. The goal of the following discussion was to promote an interactive discussion on the topic of access to finance in Europe and the MENA Region and will issue recommendations for addressing the challenges currently faced by women entrepreneurs in the 6 Countries targeted by the UNIDO project.
New UNIDO technical paper analyses MENA women’s entrepreneurship survey
UNIDO analysed results of a survey of over 1,200 female entrepreneurs in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia. The study forms an important part of the Organization’s ongoing project to bolster women’s economic participation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by fostering the strong but untapped potential of female entrepreneurship. Listening to the voices of those seeking to sustain and build businesses shines a unique light on the nature and extent of female-run enterprises across the six countries, providing an insight for policymakers on what circumstances encourage women into business, what barriers hold them back, the nature of their businesses and what needs to be done in future to strengthen entrepreneurship among women in the region.
The extensive nature of the survey gives a new understanding into how women entrepreneurs in MENA see themselves and how they believe others see them, helping policymakers to get a clearer picture of perceptions and expectations. Based on the responses, the report lays out a set of policy recommendations, highlights the limitations of current data collection and calls for deeper and more sustained data collection over time. (@OnuItalia)