Women in Business

Policies to Support Women's Entrepreneurship Development in the MENA Region

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This publication provides an overview of approaches and measures in MENA-OECD Investment Programme economies to promote, support and advance women's entrepreneurship development in the Middle East and North Africa. It covers such issues as access to credit and business development services and information and information on data collection and research on women entrepreneurs in the MENA area.



Institutional support for businesswomen in the MENA region

Experience shows that dedicated institutional structures for co-ordinating initiatives in support of women entrepreneurs are effective. This chapter looks at such structures in the MENA region. Most MENA governments have established institutions mandated to advance women's economic and social status, although none have yet established a government unit dedicated specifically to women's entrepreneurship development. Business registration and licensing bodies seldom have mechanisms to reach out to women entrepreneurs. Nor do SME agencies generally have clear strategies or targeted support for women entrepreneurs. Several chambers of commerce, notably in the Gulf countries, have established businesswomen's committees to increase women's participation in these associations. Businesswomen's associations exist in all MENA economies and offer networking opportunities, mentoring, training, and in some cases business incubation, to women entrepreneurs.


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