WDO Activities & Programs


WDO Addresses Challenges Faced by Women Entrepreneurs in the OIC During Panel Workshop Held At WEIF 2024

Manama, May 2024 – The Women Development Organization (WDO) hosted a panel workshop during 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 panel was titled “Progress by Innovation: The Role of Digital Transformation and Innovation in Entrepreneurship” and focused on the theme of "Developing Harmonized Guides and Toolkits to Support Women-led Owned Businesses” with a particular emphasis on fostering growth and sustainability in businesses led by women in OIC countries.

“By investing in women entrepreneurs, we align with the core mission of the Women Development Organization. Since its inception, WDO has prioritized women's economic empowerment and financial inclusion as its first thematic area. This unwavering focus ensures that resources and programs are specifically designed to address the unique needs of women entrepreneurs in OIC countries,” stated WDO’s Executive Director, H.E. Dr. Afnan Alshuaiby in a keynote speech during the panel workshop.

The panel workshop also featured a range of accomplished speakers, including Saudi Aramco Cybersecurity Chair, Prof. Mohamed Hammodah, Senior Adviser Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum, Algeria, Dr. Fadila Drine, Executive Director of Advisory Services and Business Incubation at Qatar Development Bank, Dr. Hamad Salem Mejegheer, CEO Manchester Innovation and Technology Academy, Dr. Wissam Steitie, and Head of Corporate Affairs and Brand & Marketing for the Middle East, Standard Chartered Bank, Bahrain, Ms. Noora Al-Nusuf. The panel workshop was moderated by Dean of College of International Transport and Logistics at Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport, Dr. Sara Al Gazzar.

The workshop addressed the unique challenges faced by women-led businesses by offering practical tools and resources to empower women entrepreneurs across the OIC member states. The workshop's main goal was to amplify the impact of women-led businesses in achieving economic growth and innovation within OIC countries.

Some of the topics discussed in the workshop included The Critical Role of Women Entrepreneurs in Sustainable Economic Development, Challenges Faced by Women-Led Businesses in Accessing Finance and Markets, Addressing the Need for Tailored Business Development Services and Mentorship, Leveraging Information Technology to Bridge the Gender Gap in Entrepreneurship, Practical Tools and Resources for Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in OIC Member States, and Navigating the Digital Landscape: Information Technology Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs in OIC Countries.

On the last day, WDO hosted a roundtable on Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in Conflict Zones through Financial & Digital Inclusion. The roundtable generated a recommendation paper for stakeholders on fostering the resilience and growth of women entrepreneurs in conflict zones through enhanced financial and digital inclusion.

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.

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