2022 UfM Women Business Forum

2022 UfM Women Business Forum

By Redazione 14 Luglio 2022 0 Comments

International experts to discuss gender-smart financing to empower women in the Euro-Mediterranean region

20th July – online

The 2022 edition of the Women Business Forum, co-organised by the UfM and UNIDO, will focus on the gender-smart financing to empower women as entrepreneurs, traders, workers, and professionals, as well identify financial inequalities that remain gender-based.

The MENA region, having the world’s largest entrepreneurial disparity between men and women – 5% of women-led business compared to a global average of 23%-26% – and one of the weakest female labour participation rates, is particularly affected. Studies show that women in this region face some of the highest levels of discrimination in accessing productive and financial resources. As the venture capital industry is 92% male, gender bias seems to play a role in men funding other men, overlooking the female entrepreneurs who are also seeking business funding.

International experts will discuss the root causes of the gender division in the financial sector and the opportunities, models and good practices that should be disseminated to ensure that women-led businesses can be an engine and growth and job opportunities for women and girls. They will explore how to alleviate barriers to entrepreneurial success and access to finance gender lens investments. The insights, recommendations and good practices gathered during the Forum will feed the production of a UNIDO White paper on women economic empowerment.

Interpretation will be provided in EN / FR / AR

Full programme July 20th

09:00: Opening remarks 

  • Amb. Dr. Haifa Abu Ghazaleh, Assistant Secretary General, Head of the Social Sector, League of Arab States
  • Amb. John Paul Grech, Deputy Secretary General, Social and Civil Affairs, Union for the Mediterranean
  • Amb. Fabio Cassese, Director General, Directorate General for Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy (video message)
  • Cecilia Ugaz Estrada, Director, Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women Office, and Special Advisor, Office of the Managing Director, Directorate of Corporate Management and Operations, UNIDO

09:20: Presentation on the White Paper on “The financing challenges as well as other pervasive issues hampering female entrepreneurship development in the MENA region” by Neila Amara, UNIDO Expert on Women Economic Empowerment in the MENA region.

09:30: Roundtable 1: Alleviating barriers to entrepreneurial success and access to finance

  • Gaëlle Ferrant, Economist, OECD (Women Economic Empowerment Forum)
  • Tania Moussallem, COO, Bank Med (Lebanon)
  • Ms. Melika Karrit, Director General of the Promotion of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, Tunisia
  • Roger Albinyana, Managing Director, European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) and Project Promoter, Euro-Mediterranean Guarantee Network (EMGN)
  • Doa Wadi, Executive Director, Business Women Forum-Palestine

11:30: Roundtable 2: Access to finance and Gender lens investments
Keynote speaker/speaker:

  • Wissam H. FATTOUH, Secretary General, Union of Arab Banks


  • European Investment Bank representative (TBC)
  • Bashir Condé, Programme Manager, UNIDO HQ Vienna
  • Myriam Fournier-Kacimi, Founder and CEO, SunGy (Algeria)
  • Tamara Abd El Jaber, Amam Ventures Jordan
  • Alia Farhat, Director, Al Majmoua (Lebanon)
  • Jihen Boutiba Mrad, Secretary General, BUSINESSMED


The e-mail must include the following information: Full name; Media outlet and position; Email address and mobile number
A link to follow the online discussions will be sent upon confirmed accreditation

Background Information:
Based on 6 years’ experience of dialogue with women entrepreneurs, national women business organisations, international leading organisations and business support schemes from the Euro-Mediterranean region, the UfM Women Business Forum is a regional platform taking place every year that offers women-owned and women-led businesses a unique opportunity to grow their business to the next level by learning from successful and innovative business models, and by building business connections with diverse and high-level international business leaders, policy makers and experts from the world’s leading companies.

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