The Women's Economic Empowerment Conference will feature key government speakers, as well as business insiders and wraps-up, with a fashion show by acclaimed fashion designers Deana Shaaban from Egypt and Jamila Assaf from Lebanon.
There’s more to empowering women than social status and political participation. Female entrepreneurs are the foot soldiers of gender equality; it is their hard work, dedication, and willingness to take financial risks that cements the reality that women matter and that independent working women are the backbone of the economy. In a time when the global economy is losing momentum and unemployment rates are on the rise, many women are going out on a limb to create jobs and really make a difference rather than looking to fill vacant positions, and Egyptian women are no different.
Founded in 2008, The Association for Women’s Total Advancement and Development (AWTAD) has empowered Egyptian women and youth through many different initiatives aimed at creating new economic opportunities for them and arming them with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the job market.
The organisation is hosting Lebanese microfinance institution Al Majmoua and, together, they are making Egyptian female entrepreneurs across Egypt and Lebanon their main concern with the Women’s Economic Empowerment Conference. The conference kicks off today, Wednesday October 26th, at Intercontinental Semiramis with panels discussing the challenges facing female entrepreneurs, from access to finance to market penetration, and ways to overcome them. Among the speakers are key government figures as well as business insiders such as GIZ Business Advisor Nihal Hassan, Sanabel Executive Director Sahar Teiby, the Head of the Egyptian Federation of Industries’ Women in Business Unit Nardin Rizkalla. There will also be an exhibition by entrepreneurs in the sectors of food and beverage and handicraft, as well as business-to-business meetings scheduled by AWTAD.
“We want to create new opportunities for entrepreneurship between Egypt and Lebanon, that is why we want to bring them in contact with large suppliers and distributors,” AWTAD Business Development and Operations Officer Mahitab Assran says. “We want to give them that push, that amount of exposure, so they can hopefully manage to secure bulk orders.”
Another area the conference would benefit participating small business owners and entrepreneurs in is professional knowledge, which is why technical training sessions will be provided on the second day of the conference, October 27th.
It won’t all be work and no play, that's for sure, as the conference wraps up with a gala dinner where acclaimed fashion designers Deana Shaaban from Egypt and Jamila Assaf from Lebanon are set to hold a joint fashion show, which is sure to pique your interest if you are sartorially inclined!
Find out more about the event on AWTAD's Facebook page here.