The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Women Business Forum 2019 took place in Barcelona on 19-21 November within the margins of the Smart City Expo World Congress. It convened women entrepreneurs, national women business organizations, international leading organizations and business support schemes from the Euro-Mediterranean region to share knowledge and ideas on various business opportunities, good practices and innovative and successful business models. This year’s forum focused on promoting the role of women in the circular economy and in tech and innovation.
During the roundtable on Women in the Circular Economy, challenges and opportunities for women in the Euro-Mediterranean region were discussed and different business models were presented. One of the main barriers for women is access to finance, namely lack of available finance and lack of loans. Political support is needed to help women access finance and grow their business.
The speakers highlighted the need for more coaching and capacity building to promote women-led businesses as they often struggle to sell their business ideas to investors.
In the session tackling access to finance, speakers emphasized the need for economic incentives, not just cutting taxations, but providing incentives for large enterprises when they incorporate smaller businesses led by women.
During the roundtables on Women in Tech and Innovation, speakers underlined the need to attract more women to the sector and addressed the issue of access to finance for women in tech and innovation.