Day 1: Sunday, February 16, 2020


We-Fi Summit attendees will participate in the Global Women’s Forum Dubai on Day 1 which will include two speakers with ties to We-Fi as well as numerous other speakers on the topic of “Women of Influence”. The Keynote event will happen at mid-day and will kick off the We-Fi Summit as well.

Entrepreneurs Hub (Powered by We-Fi):

Throughout the two days, We-Fi will host the “Entrepreneurship Hub (powered by We-Fi)”, a breakout space for women entrepreneurs attending the Forum, including a delegation of We-Fi invited entrepreneurs. During four breakout sessions, We-Fi Implementing Partners will organize get-togethers aimed at providing information for the participating entrepreneurs on:

  • Building an e-commerce enabled business (World Bank)
  • Accessing early stage capital (IFC)
  • Becoming a supplier in global supply chains (EBRD)
  • Managing constraints and opportunities in fragile environments (IsDB)

We-Fi Luncheon:

Following the Opening session, a We-Fi Summit Luncheon will be held in the We-Fi Summit Hall for all We-Fi attendees. This will be an opportunity to welcome invitees, hear from key stakeholders, open the discussion on the constraints and opportunities faced by women entrepreneurs in the MENA region, and orient the participants in the two-day program for the We-Fi Summit. (by invitation)

Ministerial Roundtable:

We-Fi will host a roundtable session, convening Ministers from the MENA region with responsibility for entrepreneurship, commerce, finance or women’s economic empowerment, together with the heads of International Organizations and other leaders from MENA and We-Fi donor countries. The leaders will discuss key opportunities for supporting women entrepreneurs at the country level, share experiences and reinforce opportunities for commitments and collective action (by invitation)

GWFD Plenary: Empowering Women Entrepreneurs: A View from the Private Sector

In the main GWFD Hall, We-Fi will host a Plenary Session featuring prominent leaders focused on delivering private sector solutions to support women entrepreneur in the MENA region. These sessions will include women entrepreneurs and We-Fi partners who are delivering innovative solutions for them. (Open)

Day 2: Monday, February 17, 2020

Entrepreneur Breakfast

A breakfast for the We-Fi entrepreneurs and Leadership Champions, We-Fi’s special advocates, will take place to recognize the entrepreneurs for their accomplishment and to provide an opportunity for networking. (by invitation)

Workshops & Deep Dives

We-Fi Summit Participants may join the following workshops which will aim to spur action and generate support for activities that will support women entrepreneurs in MENA and around the world.

1. We Finance Roundtable: We-Fi will host the “Entrepreneurship Hub (powered by We-Fi)”, a breakout space dedicated to women entrepreneurs attending the Forum, including a delegation of entrepreneurs who will be We-Fi invitees. Hub sessions will focus on building an e-commerce enabled business, accessing early stage capital, becoming a supplier in global supply chains, and managing constraints and opportunities in fragile environments.

2. E-Commerce Clinic: The E-Commerce Clinic, aims to provide information and skills training to MENA female entrepreneurs with businesses that sell goods, who are seeking to expand their market reach and e-commerce sales. The session will review the selling requirements for some of the active e-commerce platforms in the MENA region, and provide tips for entrepreneurs who want to know how to market online, how to fulfil orders, provide customer care online, and manage their relationships and accounts with the platforms.

3. Value Chain Hackathon: This session aims to build partnerships that can solve multifaced challenges of getting women into value chains, given that women participate in only 1% of global value Chains. The session will provide a forum to connect those seeking solutions with those that have solutions, and those that want to work together to develop new solutions. This session would bring together large corporates, financial service providers, governments, development finance institutions and investors and others to explore ways to work together on specific activities to expand the number of women led businesses engaged as suppliers or distributors in corporate or government value chains.

4. Brave Women Symposium: The goal of this session is to convene stakeholders and donors and supporting entrepreneurship in FCS; to create a platform for dialogue on the special needs and issues for supporting female entrepreneurs in these contexts; to share experiences, knowledge and best practices; and to identify measures to improve and facilitate support to women SME’s

5. Workshop on Accelerating Women Founders: The Accelerating Women Founders sessions aims to demonstrate how accelerators and funders can design programs to help women entrepreneurs access scale & capital. The session will share data on the challenges faced and share findings on best practice / approaches. The session will then hold a structured brainstorming activity, in the form of breakout groups made up of Accelerators, Seed Funds, and Venture Capital firms, to shore up innovative solutions which will be shared with the audience for further discussion and action.

6. Women Business & the Law Workshop: Women, Business and the Law (WBL) looks at how the decisions women make as they go through different stages of their working lives are affected by legal gender discrimination, and indexes countries based on the level of legal equality / discrimination. This session provides an overview of MENA results in the latest WBL research, identifying the key gaps and opportunities for reform. Key reformers in MENA will be highlighted with experience shared by practitioners and reform leaders. A rapid clinic will be held explaining the WBL Methodology, and the session will close with the aim to continue building on the reform process in MENA and to catalyze action on the way forward.