MENA Businesswomen's Network Forum '12


For the first time, The MENA Businesswomen’s Network (MENA BWN) convened around 350 participants at its inaugural Forum, Unleashing the Economic Potential of Women in the MENA Region, on April 12 and 13 in Dubai, UAE. Under the patronage of H.E. Sheikha Lubna Al-Qasimi, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade, the Forum was a unique peer-to-peer event that offered businesswomen of the MENA region the specific, hands-on skills and contacts necessary to transform and grow their business.

With support from the global partners, ExxonMobil and Vital Voices, and the Dubai Business Women’s Council as the local host, the Forum was designed as an interactive, dynamic platform for enhancing business cooperation and opportunity among businesswomen and entrepreneurs in the MENA region.

The Forum was an opportunity to mobilize the MENA BWN, key stakeholders and partners to produce a strong agenda of future regional initiatives. Based on the Forum’s outcomes, the MENA BWN strategic focus for 2012 will be around mentoring and access to capital. The Network is planning to expand its mentorship program across its regional hubs and will seek Vital Voices to contribute its global expertise to the mentoring program. The MENA BWN, Vital Voices and IFC will also be undertaking a partnership to find out what the capital needs of entrepreneurs, women business owners in SMEs and family businesses really are in the region. The Network will launch a survey to determine those needs and accordingly approach the banks and capital providers to ease access to capital for MENA businesswomen.


For more information about MENA BWN, contact [email protected], visit, join their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @MENABWN2005.



About the MENA Businesswomen’s Network

With a network of ten regional hubs, the MENA Businesswomen’s Network is a sustainable, results-oriented organization serving as a model for collaboration between businesswomen from across the Middle East and North Africa and stakeholders from around the world. The MENA Businesswomen’s Network is recognized for providing value both to its members and to the region at large by combining the power of a continuously growing group of women business leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs. The MENA Businesswomen’s Network has supported over 20,000 men and women through targeted programs and workshops, resulting in the creation of over 500 new companies, expanded business-to-business connections and increased company revenue.


About the Dubai Business Women’s Council

Founded in 2002, DBWC motivates women to be productive members of the society, while encouraging role models to rise up from the ranks and inspire other women around the world, especially in the Arab region, to discover their true potential. DBWC organizes the high-profile monthly event ‘The Majlis Network’ to provide information about the latest knowledge, skills and best practices for women entrepreneurs and leaders.


About ExxonMobil Foundation

ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) in the United States. Globally, ExxonMobil and the ExxonMobil Foundation provide funding to improve basic education, promote women as catalysts for development, and combat malaria and other infectious diseases in developing countries. In 2011, together with its employees and retirees, ExxonMobil, its divisions and affiliates, and ExxonMobil Foundation provided $278 million in contributions worldwide, of which $120 million was dedicated to education. Additional information on ExxonMobil’s community partnerships and contribution programs is available at



Mar 11