Economic independence of women is a crucial step towards equality. Despite the improvement in education and health access in recent years, the employment rate of women in the MENA region still lies below 30% -at the same time, the proportion of women entrepreneurs is growing. A strong women's network is an important foundation to influence these economic structures sustainably.
For this purpose, the Association of German Women Entrepreneurs (VdU) in cooperation with Global Project Partners e.V. (GPP) are leading a partnership project for the cooperation of women entrepreneurs from four countries of the MENA region (Middle East North Africa). The businesswomen associations are of central importance to the promotion of economic participation of women. In the long term, with this project, the network between the individual organizations will be strengthened - an important step, because it is only through strong structures can entrepreneurs succeed economically.
The project has already formed a network between the businesswomen associations from Algeria Egypt, Tunisia, and Lebanon that needs to be strengthened in the coming years. It also supports women leading in fields other than business and thus sets up an important catalyst for local structures. In collaboration with the VdU, the structure of the network of associations is to be strengthened on a long-term basis and the access of women entrepreneurs to economic expertise be simplified.
Topics such as "Women in STEM" and "women on boards and top management" occupy almost all partner associations. To address these issues and to respond to new ones, various working groups have been created. In online seminars, the members of the associations are in constant exchange about innovative developments in their work. International and local experts attend the meeting in an advisory capacity. This gives members access not only to best practices from abroad, but also to the know-how from the member countries.
In addition, international experts are also connected to these seminars in order to improve the organizational set up of the associations. This structural work has created a strong network that allows effective exchange between people and access to a broad expertise. In particular, at the forefront, is the promotion of local expertise - The aim is to establish a permanent exchange of knowledge between the individual entrepreneur associations. Well organized female entrepreneurs in local structures are essential for the empowerment of women in MENA countries.