OECD-MENA Women's Business Forum Meeting "Nurturing Entrepreneurship: Improving Women's Access to Services and Finance"


Rabat, 2 December 2013

Representatives from the Women’s Business Forum came together in Rabat to review new data on women’s employment and entrepreneurship in the region, and discuss recent WBF studies on ways to reinforce women entrepreneurs’ access to financing and business development services.  These analyses followed from recommendations contained in the WBF’s 2012 publication, Women in Business – Policies to support women’s entrepreneurship development in the MENA region, and from conclusions of its November 2012  meeting.

Participants also discussed priorities for the WBF’s 2014 Work Programme and nominated Ms. Neveen El-Tahri as the new Co-Chair of the WBF.

Review of Business Development Service Provision for MENA Women Entrepreneurs

The WBF conducted a Review of Business Development Service Provision for Women Entrepreneurs in the MENA region. As a way to identify means of improving women's access to business development services, this project took stock of existing business development services, measured their impact, and identified their key success factors. Three surveys on Business Development Services, General Business Incubators and Women Business Incubators have been circulated to key contacts and organisations across the 18 economies of the Programme for the data collection phase. Fact-finding missions took place in the second half of 2013.

Reinforcing access to finance for women entrepreneurs in the MENA region

At the request of WBF members, a study was launched in 2013 to better understand the supply-side context of women’s business financing across the MENA region. In cooperation with the Union of Arab Banks, this project aims to: -

  • Produce a guide outlining the bank and non‑bank financing solutions available to MENA women entrepreneurs;

  • Assess the impact of bank financing on women-owned businesses to identify gaps and propose actions;

  • Partner with banks to help develop tailored measures to foster the growth of women‑owned businesses.


Participants at the OECD-MENA Women's Business Forum meeting, 2 December 2013, Rabat, Morocco


Watch coverage of the event on MAPTV Maroc (in French)


Agenda English | français

Conclusions English | français | عربي

Women in Business 2014:
Accelerating Women's
in the MENA Region


Contact us

For further information, please contact
Ms Nicola Ehlermann-Cache,
Acting Head, MENA Division


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