Dubai: Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) has announced it will host the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Summit during the Global Women’s Forum Dubai (GWFD) 2020 slated for February 16-17.

The events will be held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. We-Fi, an international strategic partner in the forum, is a global platform, housed in the World Bank, dedicated to advancing women entrepreneurs in developing economies. The initiative has activities planned in over 50 countries and aims to reach close to 115,000 women and mobilise $2.6 billion.

Organised in collaboration with DWE, the We-Fi MENA Regional Summit will bring together high-level government representatives from MENA and We-Fi donor countries, leaders from international organizations, their private and public-sector partners, We-Fi Leadership Champions, and women entrepreneurs from the region. All We-Fi Summit participants will also be invited to participate in the comprehensive program of the GWFD 2020. The We-Fi MENA Regional summit sessions will be organised in collaboration with We-Fi’s Implementing Partners, including the African Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Islamic Development Bank and the World Bank Group (including the International Finance Corporation).

The summit aims to spur action in order to accelerate women’s opportunity to thrive as entrepreneurs in the MENA region. It will also showcase programmes, institutions and research that help women entrepreneurs access finance, markets, training and mentoring, and enhance policies. Among the summit’s objectives is to inspire by hearing from women who have overcome obstacles to become entrepreneurs in the region.

Distinct collaboration

An agreement detailing the collaboration between the entities was signed by DWE and We-Fi at Madinat Jumeirah. Lamia Abdulaziz Khan, Executive Director of GWFD 2020 and Wendy Teleki, Head of the We-Fi Secretariat signed the agreement in the presence of Jamal Al-Kibbi, Programme Manager for GCC Countries at the World Bank; Sultana Saif, Director of Women Development Department at DWE; and Angela Bekkers, We-Fi’s Senior Communications Officer.

Reflecting on this distinct collaboration, Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Managing Director and Chairperson of the Board of Dubai Women Establishment (DWE), said: “The UAE has always been a champion of enhancing women’s participation in leadership roles – the partnership with We-Fi is just another example of how the country is expending every effort to support female entrepreneurs. Given the Initiative’s commendable efforts in support of women, it is an honour to collaborate with a distinguished international Initiative such as We-Fi during the Global Women’s Forum Dubai, an important event to advance gender balance in the region. Hosting the We-FI MENA Regional Summit in Dubai is testament to the emirate’s commitment to support women across both a regional and international level. This partnership is in line with our national strategy to establish and foster international collaborations to elevate the standing of women in the UAE. This strategic partnership will also support our efforts to manifest the UAE wise leadership’s vision and national goals to advance gender balance and women empowerment.”