The First-Ever Event for Female Migrant Entrepreneurs in the Middle East to take place in Cairo
Key players in the Egyptian startup ecosystem are gathering at the Women on the move event in Cairo which is going to take place on March 30th. They will share their success stories, discuss challenges, and access opportunities in the entrepreneurial field.
The event, organised by Startups Without Borders along with its partners Entreprenelle, Fard Foundation, The GrEEK Campus, Syrian network Khatwa, and UNHCR, will gather some of most inspiring Egyptian female investors, mentors and entrepreneurs to meet the female entrepreneurs starting new lives and new ventures in Egypt.
The event features an all-female speaker lineup, including Dina El-Shenoufy, CIO of Flat6Labs, Dalia Kamar, Manager of the RiseUp Summit, Rasha Tantawy, Head of Business Support and Entrepreneurship at Egypt’s Technology Innovation and entrepreneurship Center (TIEC), and Salma El Hariry, founder of S[k]aleUp Ventures and the Vested Summit.
The event aims to raise awareness on the existing opportunities in the startup landscape, as well as integrating female migrant and refugee entrepreneurs into the Egyptian ecosystem, providing them with concrete know-how through a workshop and mentorship sessions.
“Around the world, there is a growing startup scene made up of incubators and accelerators for migrant and refugee entrepreneurs. We want to lay the ground for a genuine migrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, where driven individuals can access the vast amount of resources at their disposal to start their businesses, wherever they are,” says Valentina Primo, founder of Startups Without Borders. The platform has gathered over 100 organizations - including incubators and accelerators for migrants - on their database, and will launch an AI-powered chatbot for migrants and refugees to find opportunities during the event.
“Migrant women entrepreneurs are the people that we need to focus on the most. Many of them are newly heads of households and, having to carry multiple burdens they’ve never seen or have to deal with before, they need the most support that anybody can give. They are carrying the load of feeding their family, caring for their family, and in many cases operate alone, without the typical support of the men of the family or the extended family. I can’t think of any more worthy cause to support than this one,” says Ahmed El Alfi, investor, Chairman of Sawari Ventures, and founder of The Greek Campus.
“When forced to leave their comfort zone, women on the move develop adaptive traits that make them stronger, more ambitious and resilient as they become great business opportunities waiting to happen. But creating the right environment to foster their creativity and dreams remains a challenge in new unfamiliar grounds. This event integrates migrant women with the Egyptian ecosystem to reach their own unique business potential.” Says Khalid Al Azem, Head of Partnerships & External Relations Unit at Fard Foundation.
"Supporting refugees is part of our mandate at Entreprenelle, as we believe that they have to engage in the community. We can't ignore the potential and the add-on they have in each community in each and every country they join,” says Rania Ayman, founder of Entreprenelle.
“I believe that focusing on empowering female refugees is very important. This event, where NGOs and companies work together on the issue, is a great step for the empowerment of women of different nationalities,” says Sami Al Ahmad, founder of Khatwa.
The panel discussions will be hosted by Yara El-Braidy, followed by an ideation workshop provided by Entreprenelle, and a series of mentorship sessions, where women will be able to access personalised business advise.
ABOUT STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS
Startups Without Borders is a global platform connecting migrant and refugee entrepreneurs to opportunities and resources to build their businesses, wherever they are.
Launched in 2018 in Cairo, with hubs across other European and Middle Eastern countries, the platform aims to build the startup ecosystem for entrepreneurs on the move, not only changing perceptions on refugees and migrants, but also crystallising a growing entrepreneurial trend amongst refugees and migrants. The platform connects refugees and migrants with resources through 3 tracks:
• A Facebook chatbot.
• Networking events, giving entrepreneurs an opportunity to network and access training and mentorship.
• Storytelling, inspiring younger generations to build their business initiatives and raising the profile of refugee and migrant entrepreneurs.
Entreprenelle is a mission-driven enterprise that strives to bridge the gender gap economically by educating, training and linking women to all the resources possible. Born in the heart of Cairo in 2015, impacting more than 10,000 women in 5 different govern-orates with more than 80 entrepreneurship workshops and 10 big entertaining educational events, and an online network with more than 250,000 subscribers on different social media platforms.
ABOUT FARD FOUNDATION
Fard foundation is the leading national organization that serves migrants and refugees. Stemming from its name in Arabic فرد, Fard recognizes the individual as a potential for investment to fulfill her/his aspirations to have a positive impact in society.
Fard helps individuals to identify and reach their own unique potential by providing creative pathways to success through innovative education and economic empowerment while ensuring their basic needs. Investing in humans is the worthiest of investments.
Khatwa is an independent, non-political and non-profit network which works side by side with civil organizations to support Syrian youth in Egypt looking to enrol in higher education by providing them with the best solutions for the problems they face, especially problems related to applications, paperwork and general process related issues, in addition to accommodation and housing advice and resources.
Khatwa was first launched in July 2013. The network provides a unique service for Syrians who are planning to move to Egypt, it capitalizes on human creativity that is manifested in the production of fresh and effective ideas and solutions to further support Syrians and help them get through their hardship in the best ways possible. Khatwa has more than 150 volunteers working within its network.