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Creation of a club for women entrepreneurs in the Mena region




Applications are now open to join this new club for women entrepreneurs (photo: Onudi)
Applications are now open to join this new club for women entrepreneurs (photo: Onudi)
MENA. The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) are joining forces with the Business Club Africa (a network of 6,000 senior executives) to support women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses in the Mena (Middle East North Africa) region.

Together they are launching the Mena Women Business Club. "The aim is to enable these new members to network and develop their businesses. The Mena Women Business Club is a unique opportunity to intensify Euro-Mediterranean and South-South business links and to foster investment opportunities, including with the diaspora," says a joint statement published on Wednesday 17 November 2021.

"With this partnership, the UfM is committed to helping women in the Mena region develop their businesses and recover from the consequences of the pandemic. Women with the tenacity and foresight to take a leading role in business development are an asset to society. A gender-neutral business ecosystem in the Euro-Mediterranean region is an inevitable step in our development," comments John Paul Grech, Deputy Secretary General of the UfM.

Dedicated mentoring and networking programmes

Studies conducted by UNIDO in the framework of its programme "Promoting Women's Empowerment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development in the Mena Region (PWE II)" confirm that "next to capital, networking has emerged as the most important driver of women's entrepreneurial success. While an average of 23-26% of businesses are owned or managed by women worldwide, this proportion is currently only 5% in the Mena region. Difficulties in accessing business support services and networks, as well as limited access to productive resources (especially financial) and lack of skills, are the main reasons for this low rate. The Mena Women Business Club intends to address this.

"New members will be able to connect with a vast ecosystem of entrepreneurs, lawyers, consultants, executives and investors in sectors as diverse as energy, agriculture, mining, technology, construction, finance, retail and distribution," say its promoters. They will benefit from dedicated mentoring and networking programmes. "Women entrepreneurs can take advantage of the Club's extensive network to promote their products in new markets, find new business opportunities and participate in sectoral gatherings, such as speed networking events," adds Bashir Conde, UNIDO's PWE II programme manager.

Applications to join the Mena Women Business Club are open on a reserved area of the Business Club Africa website.

Eric Apim


Thursday, November 18th 2021



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