Investing in Employment in the Middle East and North Africa Region

SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy

Press Releases

Brussels and Frankfurt,, 2019-09-16

SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy and Womenpreneur go on tour to map female tech talents in Arab ecosystem

Brussels and Frankfurt, September 16, 2019 – The SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy and the Womenpreneur Initiative are joining forces to launch the “Womenpreneur Tour” to foster female entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In this first-of-its-kind awareness campaign, the Womenpreneur Tour van will travel across Morocco, Tunisia, and Jordan from October to December 2019 to interview female digital talents and women-led tech enterprises. The resulting video documentary will be published at the end of 2019.

In each tour country, innovative events will bring together bright minds to assess the state of the Arabic ecosystem from a female perspective and develop concrete programs, policies, and strategies to empower women. These events will be supplemented by innovative side activities: from engaging with IT, to innovation shows, mentoring sessions, networking, and more. At the end of tour, policy recommendations will be shared with public institutions and interested parties to advocate for better gender policies and women’s full participation in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Ines Ebrecht, Chairperson of the SANAD Technical Assistance Facility which runs the Entrepreneurship Academy, remarked: “Women currently face challenges to their professional and business development through such factors as lack of opportunity, inadequate funding and support networks, and family and tax policies that discourage labor market participation and entrepreneurship. This joint initiative aims to address these issues by mapping and connecting existing and aspiring female talents in technology, entrepreneurship, and digital innovation for mutual support and awareness-raising.”

Womenpreneur CEO and founder Sana Afouaiz said: “The modern Tech revolution is offering the rare opportunity and a clean slate for women to reinstate the balance and engage fully in the survival and the flourishing of the human race. Without women’s full engagement in our technological revolution, the opportunity of constructing a healthy, just, equal and progressed societies will be lost. With Womenpreneur Tour our focus is to bring tech to women and women to tech.”

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The SANAD Fund for MSME finances micro, small and medium enterprises and low-income households in the Middle East and North Africa via qualified local lenders. SANAD thereby fosters economic development and job creation – including youth employment – agriculture, affordable housing, and innovations in finance and financial technologies. SANAD strives to meet these goals by providing debt and equity financing to its local partners.

The SANAD Technical Assistance Facility (SANAD TAF) multiplies the fund’s impact and outreach through capacity-building with partner institutions, developing financial infrastructures according to the principles of responsible finance and conducting much required research and development. The SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy, an initiative of the SANAD TAF, encompasses a range of programs to support business owners throughout SANAD’s target region. By working together with local organizations that drive incubation and acceleration projects, the Entrepreneurship Academy provides entrepreneurs with guidance, resources, mentoring, networking opportunities, the chance to receive financial backing, and other means necessary to turn good ideas into successful enterprises.

An impact investment fund advised by Finance in Motion, SANAD’s investors include the KfW Development Bank, which initiated the fund; the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); the European Union; Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO); OeEB, the Development Bank of Austria; Germany’s GLS Bank and GLS Treuhand; the Dutch development bank FMO; and Calvert Impact Capital.

For more information on the SANAD Fund for MSME, please visit:
For more information on Finance in Motion, please visit:

About Womenpreneur Initiative
Womenpreneur Initiative is a Brussels-based organisation with a community of 10,000 across 20 countries. Its aim is to advance women’s place in entrepreneurial scene, technology, innovation and society. We meet our aim through a variety of innovative experiences, entrepreneurial activities, mentorship sessions, leadership programs, technology education, networking events and opportunities.

For more information about Womenpreneur Initiative, please visit:

Media contact – SANAD
Nikki Eggers
Senior Officer, Marketing & Communications
Phone: +49 (0)69 271 035-470

Media contact – Womenpreneur
Teresa De Vivo
Global Manager
Phone: +32 2 737 01 05

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