Access to finance, new markets and an enabling environment as main priorities for women entrepreneurs in the MENA region, study reveals

UfM Women empowerment
UfM Women empowerment
Copyright: Union for the Mediterranean

An extensive survey of over 1,200 women entrepreneurs from 6 UfM countries was conducted by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in the framework of the UfM-labelled project “Promoting women empowerment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development in the MENA region”, revealed that the main challenges faced by women entrepreneurs are the lack of access to finance and new international markets, the regulatory environment, the cost of public services and the lack of economic growth.

Furthermore, the surveyed entrepreneurs observed that barriers to female entrepreneurship also lie in the existence of stereotypes and preconceptions about the role and ability of women; stereotypes that often translate into a lack of confidence.

This survey is part of a Technical Paper being produced by UNIDO in the framework the UfM-labelled project. The report will be released under the title “A study on Women Entrepreneurship Development in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia”

The preliminary results of the survey and the launch of UNIDOS’s Technical Paper were presented in the round table “Access to finance: challenges and good practices to support women in business in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia”, organised on 4 April in Rome by UNIDO, the Directorate General for Development Cooperation of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs(DGCS), the Italian Agency of Cooperation for Development (AICS), the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the Entrepreneurs Association and Women Business Leaders (AIDDA).

The findings of this survey come at a timely juncture, when regional efforts aim to promote entrepreneurship, job opportunities and women’s empowerment. This will be a key subject in the forthcoming UfM Ministerial Meeting on Strengthening the Role of Women in Society that will take place in 2017.

Read more

Press release

UfM Secretariat progress report on women empowerment 

UfM regional policy dialogue on gender

UfM – Social and civil affairs