Launched in 2011, the Arab Women's Entrepreneurship Project (AWEP) is helping women to overcome barriers to their effective participation in the regional economy by providing access to training, mentoring, and other forms of support that enhance the chances that women participants in its programs will succeed as they start a new business or expand an existing one. By focusing on women from underserved backgrounds, the project seeks to help a greater number of the region's women to realize their entrepreneurial goals and thereby enhance the region's economic potential. Funding from Citi Foundation has enabled AWEP to offer training rounds in Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, and the UAE.
Enable women in selected countries to make tangible advances in their own economic productivity and potential
Help countries in the Middle East and North Africa tap the energies of its women, who until now represent an underdeveloped source of economic growth
Target women from underserved backgrounds who lack the economic or social means to receive training in the fundamentals of business and entrepreneurship
During a three-week training program, participants are introduced to the basic business skills required to succeed as an entrepreneur. Topics covered include the fundamentals of customer service, sales, accounting for small businesses, risk and feasibility assessment, strategic planning, and local requirements for registering and operating a business. Participants also make site visits to selected small businesses started and run by women, and they develop a business plan.
Each round concludes with a period of practical application lasting up to six months. During it, participants begin to implement their business plans, either proceeding with the establishment of a new business venture or developing an existing business. As they do, they are able to draw on the support of mentors, trainers, and fellow participants during periodic meetings to review progress and share success stories.
A first round of training was held in four countries during 2012, benefiting more than 60 women in Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, and the UAE.
A second round of training was held in four countries during 2013, benefiting nearly 80 women in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Morocco.
A third round of training, expected to begin in late 2013, will benefit up to 80 women in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Morocco.
For additional information on current program implementation in the four targeted countries, including application materials, please click on the relevant country name(s) below.