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Wendy Teleki, Head of the We-Fi Secretariat (right), and Lamia Abdulaziz Khan, Executive Director of the GWFD 2020 (left), signing a letter confirming their collaboration on the We-Fi MENA Regional Summit and Global Women Forum Dubai (photo credit: DWE)


Washington, DC – December 16, 2019

The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) announced that its next regional summit will focus on women entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa region and will be held in Dubai from February 16-17, 2020. The We-Fi MENA Regional Summit will be co-organized with the Dubai Women Establishment during the Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020, a global two-day event themed ‘The Power of Influence’.

Recognizing challenges such as lack of access to financing and markets, and legal barriers facing women business owners, the We-Fi MENA Regional Summit aims to spur action in order to accelerate women’s opportunity to thrive as entrepreneurs in the region and beyond. It will also showcase programs that help women entrepreneurs overcome finance and market obstacles, as well as advancing policies that tackle regulatory hurdles.

In collaboration with 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 We-Fi Regional Summit will bring together high-level government representatives, leaders from international organizations, private and public-sector partners, We-Fi Leadership Champions, and women entrepreneurs from the MENA region. The 2020 Summit follows a productive We-Fi West Africa Regional Summit, held in Côte d’Ivoire in April 2019 which attracted hundreds of leaders from the public and private sectors.

“The Regional Summit is a flagship event for our organization, and we are very pleased that we can collaborate with Dubai Women Establishment and use the GWFD to propel more support for women entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa”, said Wendy Teleki, Head of the We-Fi Secretariat upon signing a Letter of Collaboration with DWE last week in Dubai in preparation of the Summit. “Starting and growing a business is one of the most powerful tools for women to build a better future for themselves and their communities and this event we will discuss actions to make this a reality for women around the world. The event also underlines our partnership with the UAE government, one of the first contributing donors to We-Fi.”

Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Managing Director and Chairperson of the Board of Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) said: “It is an honor to collaborate with We-Fi, a distinguished international Initiative, during the Global Women’s Forum Dubai, an important event to advance gender balance in the region. This collaboration is aligned with our national strategy to establish and foster international collaborations in order to further elevate the standing of women in the UAE”.

About GWFD 2020: Hosted and organized by Dubai Women Establishment (DWE), the GWFD 2020 will build on the theme ‘The Power of Influence’ with the aim to highlight dynamic women in governments and the business world, as well as their impact and contributions across the global economy and society.