SESRIC


Workshop on 'Promoting Women’s Entrepreneurship in the MENA Region'
 
Date : 12-11 December 2006 Venue : Istanbul Turkey

The Workshop on “Promoting Women’s Entrepreneurship in The MENA Region” was held in Istanbul, Turkey, on 11-12 December 2006. The Workshop was organised by the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs and Local Development (CFE) in partnership with the SESRTCIC. Dr. Savaş Alpay, Director General, Mr. Yakup Karaca, senior researcher and Ms. Sevgi Reçberoğlu, researcher, represented the Centre thereat. 

The Pilot Project on Promoting Women’s Entrepreneurship in the MENA Region (April 2007 to April 2009) aims to promote and accelerate the development of women’s entrepreneurship in the MENA region. It is initially intended to create a specialised action force by training a select group of women in 6 pilot MENA countries (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia), identified on the basis of their potential, experience, and skills. These women are then expected to serve as operational intermediaries for strengthening entrepreneurial capacities and helping women entrepreneurs succeed.

Representatives of the pilot project MENA countries and representatives of Palestine, UNIDO, ILO, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), International Council for Small Business (ICSB), World Association of Women Entrepreneurs, Strategy International-Italy, Quantum Leaps, Inc.-USA and Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey attended the Workshop.

Representatives of the pilot project MENA countries and representatives of Palestine, UNIDO, ILO, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), International Council for Small Business (ICSB), World Association of Women Entrepreneurs, Strategy International-Italy, Quantum Leaps, Inc.-USA and Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey attended the Workshop.

The two-day workshop focused on the two phases of the pilot project; the first being the performance of the mapping survey performed by the OECD to determine the current situation of women entrepreneurship in the MENA region, while the second being the training the trainers seminars and capacity building on advocacy.

Regarding the mapping survey and the preliminary results, the participants noted that the data in hand reveal that women entrepreneurship is still low in the MENA region, as in all other regions of the world, and requested advice on the kind of data to be collected. The SESRTCIC offered to assist the OECD in completing the survey through its own regional contact points and to have the final Synthesis report translated into Arabic.

As for the training the trainers seminars and capacity building on advocacy, the participants noted the idea as an interesting initiative and requested that it be implemented as soon as possible. The participants suggested that the contents of the seminar be more well-defined and strengthened by targeting country specific characteristics.