This session highlighted how building partnerships can solve the multifaceted challenges of getting women into value chains – given that women participate in only 1% of global value chains. The workshop brought together large corporates, financial service providers, development finance institutions, and NGOs to explore ways to address specific challenges and help catalyze innovative solutions.
Participants stressed the importance of internal commitment within their organizations, capacity building for all stakeholders, developing supplier engagement programs that consider cultural issues and the characteristics of women-led businesses, as well as providing appropriate training to women-led SMEs according to their firms’ maturity level. The panelists also emphasized how leveraging digitization and data can help build the business case to tie such interventions into the company’s operations and scale such programs. The participants discussed different partnership models to promote more inclusive supply chains, including developing joint programs with specialized NGOs, incorporating performance incentives to influence corporate clients to focus on identifying and targeting women-led businesses in their supply chains, and providing specialized technical assistance to interested companies.
Investing in Women-led SMEs in Fragile and Conflict Situations
The aims of the session were: 1) Convene stakeholders and donors to support entrepreneurship in Fragile and Conflict Situations; 2) Create a platform for dialogue on the special needs and issues for supporting female entrepreneurs in these contexts, and; 3) share knowledge and best practices, and identify measures to improve and facilitate support to women-led small and medium-sized enterprises (WSMEs) in times of fragility and conflict.
- May Babiker- Manager, Women and Youth Empowerment Division, ISDB
- Mohammad Skaik, Head of MENA Programs, SPARK
- Ms. Safia Ali Aljabri , Director of Programs – SMEPS
- Naseem Saleh Ahmed Al-Gershi, Owner Almanar School