- Female entrepreneurship empowerment initiative to travel across Algeria, Egypt and Lebanon to explore how women business owners are tackling COVID-19 crisis
- Interviews and roadshow to focus on leadership in digital and tech innovations
After the successful first Womenpreneur Tour in 2019, Womenpreneur Initiative and SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy have once again teamed up to promote women business leaders in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). This time, the Womenpreneur Tour van will travel across Algeria, Egypt and Lebanon from March to July 2022 to discover how female entrepreneurs in the digital and tech industries are responding to the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak under the motto “Turning Crises into Opportunities.”
Women’s participation in the MENA workforce is currently significantly lower than men’s, at only 21% compared with 70%. Yet of the estimated 1.7 million job losses expected in the region due to the impact of COVID-19, a disproportionate percentage – over 40% – are held by women. Female entrepreneurs in these countries report that they are implementing a number of measures to tackle the difficult environment brought about by the pandemic. Through one-on-one interviews and roadshow event, the second Womenpreneur Tour aims to meet, explore, and present the various strategies being employed by female leaders in tech to stabilize, adapt, and even grow their businesses. In doing so, the van crew will comply with the strictest local health and safety regulations and guidelines, including face masks, exacting hygiene precautions, and physical distancing.
“Women in business are at the frontline and ready to tackle these challenges,” said Womenpreneur Initiative Director and Founder Sana Afouaiz. “Already they are turning the pandemic-related crisis into opportunities, developing new ideas, and stabilizing or even growing their enterprises. The Tour aims to demonstrate how female tech talents in particular are using the power of technology and innovation to find new avenues. In the end, our goal is to build cross-linkages and networks for women to activate, exchange, and learn, while providing female entrepreneurs with access to financing sources and business support.”
Ines Ebrecht, Chairperson of the SANAD Technical Assistance Facility which runs the Entrepreneurship Academy, said: “The Womenpreneur Tour is a truly innovative and impactful endeavor. By mapping, connecting, and showcasing female digital leaders, the Tour has been able to zero in on the specific needs of women entrepreneurs in the region and identify targeted approaches to help tap their full potential. Now, we aim not only to expand the Tour to three new MENA countries, but also to learn from women entrepreneurs’ strategies for confronting the COVID-19 situation and thus foster the ability of their and other local businesses to overcome it.”
Overviews and results of the first Womenpreneur Tour are documented in an online video playlist.