WE4F MENA Hub Launches the MENA Women Innovate Network

Women play a critical role within agriculture and, in general, the private sector. Yet they face limited opportunities that prevent their businesses from scaling. To help women-led and/or -owned innovations overcome these challenges, the WE4F Middle East and North Africa Regional Innovation Hub (MENA RIH) has launched the MENA Women Innovate Network.

Through this network, the MENA RIH will support women-led and/or -owned innovators by sharing best practices, challenges, and extending support for gender lens investment. The hub will also provide tailored services that aim to increase business opportunities for the supported women innovators and the number of women end-users.

The MENA Innovate Network was launched at the MENA 2023 Innovation Camp, where a gender session provided women innovators with the opportunity to speak about the challenges they faced while starting their businesses, how they manage their work-life balance, and other topics.

“Women in the region still hold the lowest entrepreneurial activity at 4% of the overall population. When starting or growing business, Arab women continue to face a series of overwhelming constraints, including a gender discriminatory environment. Their lack of knowledge and access to networks to start business expansion act as a powerful barrier to women’s entrepreneurship in the region that has long challenged women’s access to economic opportunities and networks”. – Dr. Noura Abdelwahab, MENA Gender Specialist

The first Women Innovate Network webinar (held on July 5th) focused on digital marketing because it has created a level playing field where businesswomen and women entrepreneurs can compete with their male counterparts and showcase their talents to a global audience. It also helps businesswomen and women entrepreneurs reach more end-users through targeted business-to-consumer and business-o-business campaigns and strategies.

The webinar highlighted the importance of building a sound online presence for a business, gave an opportunity to attendees to learn actionable digital marketing strategies that they can implement immediately to drive customer engagement and growth, and analyzed a case study for Nakhla, an Iraqi innovator at the MENA RIH. 

It revealed that business women and women entrepreneurs can reach out to more women end-users by being viral on social media and sharing their stories that have emotional messages and give context to their business.

Please stay tuned for our following articles that will highlight how to use digital marketing to reach out to more women end-users!