Women SME’s – World of Possibilities 17-21 February 2018

17 February 2018

The proceedings of the Fourth Conference ended with the conclusion of WOMEN FOR SUCCESS
Women SME's - World of Possibilities 17-21 February 2018
The shield was presented as a souvenir to the ministers and representatives of the countries participating in the conference at the end of the first day at the League of Arab States

Conclusions & Recommendations, presented by Dr. Nadia El Shafei, Ms. Manal Amin, Ms. Sherine Abdelbaki

Keynote speakers: Cairo – Arab League, Feb. 17, 2018

Ministers Dr. Sahar Nasr, Dr. Hala El Said, and Dr. Khaled Fahmy,

representatives Mrs. NevineGamea (Ministry of Industry), Ambassador Said Hendam (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, deputy minister multilateral economic relations), Ambassador InasMekkawy (Arab League, women, family &childhood), Ambassador Alia Ghannam (Arab League, civil society), Mrs. Marie Louis Bishara(National Council for Women), also EBRD, ILO.

  • Investment law gives clear notice to gender diversity and institutional reform
  • Newly created special office for women investors
  • World Bank funding women’s entrepreneurship microfinance & leasing; technical training and support
  • Egypt’s 2030 strategy: gender sensitive; aims at increasing number of women in leadership positions; women are a priority as they give added value as participants in success and give power to change
  • Arab League: Khadija Network aims to enable training programs for marginalized women
  • Waste2Wear (Monique Maissan): looking to set up a recycle project producing textiles from plastic bottles or to export her textiles to Egyptian garment manufacturers in Egypt
  • EBRD offering Advice for Small Business (through cost sharing system)

Luxor sessions: Feb. 18-20, 2018 -conclusions

Governor of Luxor talk: investment opportunities for private sector in services (private schools, restaurants, hypermarket, cinemas, mass transit), IT sector (especially connectivity & call center), agri-product exports, linking microenterprise crafts by women with value chains (marketing & distribution).

Women on Boards: emotional intelligence, communication & authenticity are key; leadershipskills building& training for women; a plan needed (combination of factors: legislation, private sector initiatives, policy, raising kids equally, women should support other women,..)

Exports: enable SheTrades website; challenges (exchange rates, physical access to market, loading/unloading goods, need to know regulations & culture in country of destination, be aware of trade routes & impact of new silk route); Egypt benefits from devaluation led to attraction to exports & innovative changes to products to use more local parts

Services: infrastructure and connecting buildings and buses & monitoring everything; introducing mobile clinics in rural areas; staff motivation using non-financial tools

SME challenges & general tips: doing better business using technology & internet; personalize sales using data analytics (search engine optimization); get out of the office, talk to people, do research to know your market and manage your office. Use digital marketing and social networks. Remembertechnology is a tool, not an end. Differentiation is key – Unique Selling Point; access to finance (need to know risks of different finance instruments & channels); work and competition ethics.


  • Women on Boards:
    • offer leadership skills training for women (could be with support of GPP or EBRD or internally using expertise of BWE21 members; need to outline a program & develop syllabus. Suggest Feb. 2018 to collect info. from specialized members, propose outline, offer program from April 2018)
    • consider starting mentor program for career development to increase number of women on boards, in line with Egypt’s 2030 strategy. (look to Lebanon LLWB experience with GPP support)
  • Exports
    • Enable SheTradesusage (connect people & connect things); offer training for the website
    • conduct match-making for initial collaboration
    • encourage exports (benefit from devaluation, use local parts...); to use Yallansadar& FTTC
  • Women-owned SMEs:
    • digital marketing training
    • facilitate members projects in Luxor and assist all participants with necessary connections for their businesses
  • General: work on legislation & policy with other NGOs & NCW to increase number of women in leadership



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