Beirut and Luxembourg, July 25, 2022 – The Womenpreneur Tour, a joint project of SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy and Womenpreneur Organization, completed its 2022 tour with an event held on July 19 in Beirut. The tour was created to highlight the female talents in technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the MENA region. In 2022, the tour visited these female entrepreneurs in Algeria, Egypt, and Lebanon.
The Beirut event, bringing together regional female entrepreneurs, investors, business development professionals and ecosystem stakeholders, facilitated discussions on female entrepreneurship, innovation, crisis management, and the greater entrepreneurial ecosystem in Lebanon from a female perspective. Three parallel workshops on digital marketing, crisis resilience, and fundraising were held encourage knowledge transfer for Lebanese women, leading successful start-ups.
Participants of the event highlighted the challenges and needs of female-led businesses, when it comes to funding, political reforms, and sustainable solutions during several panels. They emphasized the importance of collaboration among ecosystem stakeholders to provide sustainable support beyond access to funding. Given the ongoing political and economic crisis in Lebanon, the event was part of the SANAD’s Entrepreneurship Academy’s ongoing efforts to strengthen entrepreneurship resilience in the country with particular focus on female talents. The initiative complements the fund’s comprehensive crisis response measures and SANAD’s Technical Assistance continuous involvement in Lebanon, having implemented a total of 60 projects since inception in support of inclusive and sustainable financial systems in the country.
One of these female entrepreneurs was Nisrine el Turky, the Founder and CEO of Internet of Trees, an internet technology company that uses wireless sensory networks to help farmers understand the condition of their plots with a mobile application. Nisrine was interviewed for the Womenpreneur Tour Docuseries and participated in a roundtable during the event. She said the following “In the midst of all hardships and cascading crisis, I kept fighting and transforming my business to help my community and create positive social, economic and environment impacts. You can call me ‘Lebanese Certified’.” She continued, “I am extremely honored to participate in the Womenpreneur Tour as a Lebanese Entrepreneur. This nomination gave me a great opportunity to connect with great women and initiatives supporting women in many countries. Not to mention the great visibility and the greatest emotional support which is well needed in this time of crisis.”
Kim Reichel, Chairperson of the SANAD Technical Assistance Facility which runs the Entrepreneurship Academy, said: “It is fitting that the Womenpreneur Tour 2022 has ended with this event in Lebanon. The speakers and participants are a powerful example of the resilience of female entrepreneurs, amidst the significant economic and political challenges facing Lebanon. The event, along with the entire initiative, aims to celebrate the stories of women in the region and help them tap their full potential through training, networking and collaboration.”
“We are very happy with the results. The tour received great visibility and was featured in big platforms, including 961,” said Womenpreneur Initiative Director and Founder Sana Afouaiz. “The biggest actors in the ecosystem joined our panels to share their thoughts on the collective efforts needed to support the Lebanese female entrepreneurs. This tour goes beyond documenting and shedding light on the journeys of female entrepreneurs, it emphasizes training for them. From improving participant’s digital skills to teaching them how to access funds we aim to build their resilience. We have received over 66 registrations for the digital marketing, crisis resilience, and fundraising workshops, and more than 150 registrations for the event. Personalities flew all the way from London, Kuwait to join our event, this shows once more that are SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy and Womenpreneur's collaboration stands unique in supporting women in times of uncertainty."
Overviews and results of the first Womenpreneur Tour are documented in an online video playlist.
The SANAD Fund for MSME, a fund advised by Finance in Motion, finances micro, small, and medium enterprises and low-income households in the Middle East and North Africa and selected countries of sub-Saharan Africa via qualified local lenders. SANAD thereby fosters economic development and job creation – including youth employment – agriculture, affordable housing, and innovations in finance and financial technologies. SANAD strives to meet these goals by providing debt and equity financing to its local partners.
The SANAD Technical Assistance Facility (SANAD TAF), managed by Finance in Motion, multiplies the fund’s impact and outreach through capacity-building with partner institutions, developing financial infrastructures according to the principles of responsible finance and conducting much required research and development. The SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy, an initiative of the SANAD TAF, encompasses a range of programs to support business owners throughout SANAD’s target region. By working together with local organizations that drive incubation and acceleration projects, the Entrepreneurship Academy provides entrepreneurs with guidance, resources, mentoring, networking opportunities, the chance to receive financial backing, and other means necessary to turn good ideas into successful enterprises.
SANAD’s investors include the KfW Development Bank, which initiated the fund; the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); the European Union; Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO); OeEB, the Development Bank of Austria; Germany’s GLS Bank and GLS Treuhand; the Dutch development bank FMO; and Calvert Impact Capital.
Media contact – SANAD
Manager, Marketing & Communications
Phone: +49 (0)69 271 035-171
Media contact – Womenpreneur Initiative
Founder and Director of the Womenpreneur Initiative
Phone: +32 472 37 27 29