WDO News


WDO Held a Roundtable on Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in Conflict & War Zones During World Entrepreneurs Investment Forum 2024

Manama, May 2024 – The Women Development Organization (WDO) held a roundtable on Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in Conflict Zones through Financial & Digital Inclusion on the sidelines of the 5th edition of the World Entrepreneurs Investment Forum 2024 (WEIF), that took place in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain, from the 14th to 16th of May, 2024.

The roundtable aimed to generate a recommendation paper for stakeholders on fostering the resilience and growth of women entrepreneurs in conflict zones through enhanced financial and digital inclusion.

It helped raise awareness and commitment from stakeholders to address the specific challenges of financial and digital exclusion faced by women entrepreneurs in conflict zones. It also helped in fostering collaboration among stakeholders to develop and implement effective policies and programs that enhance the resilience and growth of women-owned businesses in conflict environments

The roundtable is expected to make a significant contribution to peacebuilding and economic recovery in conflict zones by empowering women entrepreneurs to rebuild their communities and drive sustainable development.

Through collaborative and insightful deliberations, the participants generated a series of valuable recommendations that address the crucial challenges at hand. These recommendations include encouraging policies that increase capital of women entrepreneurs, increasing the use of e-sims, utilizing steatite internet in conflict zones, introducing more cohesive e-commerce platforms on a national scale, and the creation of a platform for women whistle-blowers to keep them safe.

The roundtable was attended by representatives from development agencies, financial institutions, women entrepreneurs’ associations, business leaders, and experts on financial and digital inclusion in conflict environments. They represent several different countries, including Sierra Leone, India, Cameroon, Palestine, Jordan, Bahrain, and the UK.

The list of participants included UNIDO’s Senior Health Promotion Expert, Dr. Amal Al Jowder, Wickburn Services’ CEO, Antonia Baindu Caramba-Coker, F & F Young Women Entrepreneurship Development Organization’s Founder, Ngwi Njikta Favor, Jordan Strategy Forum’s CEO, Nesreen Barakat, Gender Equity Diversity Investments’ Founder, Sophia Swire, FIA’s CEO, Seema Prem, and Biz Excel’s General Manager, Abdulrahman I. Al-Awadhi.

The roundtable came following a panel workshop that WDO hosted during the Forum that was titled “Progress by Innovation: The Role of Digital Transformation and Innovation in Entrepreneurship”.

During the panel workshop, Executive Director of WDO, H.E. Dr. Afnan Alshuiaby gave a keynote speech where she highlighted the complexities that women entrepreneurs face in conflict zones.

“These courageous women not only face the challenges inherent to their gender but also the devastating realities of war and instability. Access to finance and markets becomes even more precarious, and support networks can be fragmented. Yet, these women persevere, demonstrating incredible resilience and resourcefulness. Their stories inspire us, reminding us of the power of entrepreneurship to rebuild lives and communities,” stated the Executive Director.


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