Under the title “Gender-smart financing to unlock Women’s entrepreneurial potential in the MENA region”, the Women Business Forum 2022 kicked off in Barcelona, jointly co-organised by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and supported by the Governments of Italy and Sweden.
Seeking to explore ways to empower women as entrepreneurs, traders, workers, and professionals, as well as identify financial inequalities that remain gender-based, the event also looked into successful models and best practices of women-led businesses.
“When it comes to their financial capabilities, women do not enjoy equal opportunities to innovate, upscale and grow, or else create wealth through equity funding. Despite all this, data confirms that when funded, women entrepreneurs perform equally well as their male counterparts. Sometimes, at times even better,” said John Paul Grech, Deputy Secretary General of UfM.
Studies highlight that women in the region face some of the highest levels of discrimination in accessing productive and financial resources. As the venture capital industry is 92% male, gender bias seems to play a role in men funding other men, overlooking the female entrepreneurs who are also seeking business funding.