2nd edition, 2017

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Women entrepreneurship: the next economic challenge of MENA countries


The winds of change are blowing. Over the past decade, there has been a positive development for women entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region). Thanks to both private and public initiatives, the situation for female entrepreneurship in the region has considerably improved. It is a slow but continuing development and more businesswomen are gaining regional and global recognition. Mentalities are changing and key transformations to encourage women to create their own companies have occurred. In the coming years, in most of the MENA countries, women are expected to play a substantial role in the regional economy and development.

However, despite the increase in the number of women launching their companies in the MENA region, women entrepreneurs still face important barriers due to socio-cultural factors, access to financing, work-life balance, limited access to information and a patriarchal mentality. The efforts done by some countries to empower their women deserve to be highlighted. Female entrepreneurship seems to have progressed significantly in countries such as the UAE, Jordan, Morocco, Lebanon, Bahrain and some others.



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