Insufficient entrepreneurial finance is a key obstacle for enterprise creation and development in many countries. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, this is due in part to the absence of well developed capital, venture capital and business angel markets, as well as the under-development of credit bureaus and restrictive lending practices by traditional financial institutions. The equity gap reportedly affects women entrepreneurs more than their male counterparts. In addition to supply-side problems, lack of financial literacy to effectively pitch for finance only raises the barrier for women and young entrepreneurs who are seeking funding.
There is growing evidence that improving the gender balance of management boards and staff within financial institutions can increase the propensity that these firms will lend to women entrepreneurs. Supporting women’s increased participation in the private equity industry can therefore be a part of broader strategies to increase women entrepreneurs’ access to capital for business creation and growth.
The seminar on Women in Private Equity: New Frontiers for the MENA Region was held with a view to exploring the launch of an OECD-MENA Women in Private Equity Initiative, which would aim to increase women’s participation in the private equity industry in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
It was organised by the United States Mission to the OECD and Venture Catalyst Private Equity Partners, with the support of the MENA-OECD Investment Programme, the OECD-MENA Women’s Business Forum and the U.S. International Trade Administration. It was hosted by Jones Day. Distinguished speakers included:
Event documentationAgenda Thank you letter from Women’s Business Forum Co-chairs H.E. Dina Kawar (Jordanian Ambassador to France) and H.E. Karen Kornbluh (U.S. Ambassador to the OECD) (English, French, Arabic)
Other useful documentation
Private Equity in the Middle East: A Rising Contender in Emerging Markets, Global Private Equity Initiative, INSEAD
Case Studies and Publications Related to Private Equity, Global Private Equity Initiative, INSEAD