Supporting the integration of women in MENA economies, 29 March 2010, Tunis


Tunis, Tunisia, 29 March 2010


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Ambassador Verveer's message to the OECD-MENA Women's Business Forum

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The first meeting of the OECD-MENA Women's Business Forum (WBF) was organised by the OECD with the support of the World Association of Women Entrepreneurs.


This meeting initiated a dialogue amongst WBF members on the development of a comprehensive set of recommendations to policy-makers and the private sector for boosting women’s entrepreneurship and employment in the MENA region.


Key themes:

  • Developing an analytical framework for assessing policy support for women’s entrepreneurship and employment
  • Conducting country assessments against this framework, in close collaboration with WBF members
  • Sharing best practices testimonies and case material from MENA and non-MENA economies
  • Discussing the potential governance structure of the WBF to steer work priorities and achieve impact on the ground


H.E. Ms. Melanne Verveer, the United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, delivered the opening address. Distinguished speakers included Ms. Leila Khaiat, Honorary World President, World Association of Women Entrepreneurs, First Vice President, Council of Arab Business Women, Tunisia, Dr. Soukeina Bouraoui, Executive Manager, Centre of Arab Women for Training and Research (CAWTAR), Tunisia, Ms. Francoise Foning, World President, World Association of Women Entrepreneurs, and many others.


This meeting was held back-to-back with the 4th meeting of the Working Group 2 on SME Policy, Entrepreneurship and Human Capital Development, which examined the role for direct and indirect policies to support entrepreneurs through their first three years of development from their inception to establishment, growth and expansion.






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