March 28-30, 2019 – USAID’s SEED held the first Strategic Planning Workshop for the Women Entrepreneurs Network (WEN) Steering Committee members, who came together in Fayoum to plan for the upcoming activities and initiatives of the WEN, finalize its governance structure, and discover untapped opportunities by different players in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The WEN Steering Committee workshop succeeded in delivering major outcomes that ensure the sustainability of the Network. The workshop’s outcomes included a 2019/2020 work plan for WEN with M&E indicators, a finalized bylaws document, and the formation of a task force group that is dedicated to delivering WEN activities and initiatives. In addition, the workshop raised the members’ awareness on the different legal scenarios for the WEN.
Nashwa Habib, SEED’s Gender and Youth Senior Advisor, said: “The workshop succeeded in drafting the WEN 2019/2020 work plan through sessions where each member of the steering committee gave a presentation on their own proposed initiatives under their organizations.”
Habib further said that the Network will focus this year on developing a female mentorship program, creating the first women angel investors group and promoting the women-led technology based startups as well as the digitization of female-owned enterprises.
The SC members discussed the legal structure of the Women Entrepreneurs Network, and the bylaws with Dr. Haitham Ali, SEED’s Legal Consultant, who gave an overview of the different scenarios and options to turn the WEN into a registered organization.
The workshop concluded that SEED Project would approach the Minister of Social Solidarity and the Head of the National Council for Women to discuss the possibility of getting the Network registered with the Ministry of Social Solidarity. The SC members also agreed to conduct the Network’s regular meetings at the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) headquarters as of May 2019. The SEED project will provide the needed support to the secretariat board until the finalization of the legal procedures.
On the last day of the workshop, the SC members paid a visit to Fayoum’s famed Tunis Village where they met with some women who work in pottery schools and workshops.
The Women Entrepreneurs Network’s Steering Committee is composed of several organizations and experts in the field: Basma Osman from the FEI, Sahar Mounir from the Nile University, Dalia Saeid of the National Council for Women, Rim Siam from the Egyptian Chambers of Commerce Alia Badawy, Hala El Sayed and Azza Mahfouz from Alexandria Business Women Association (ABWA)and Hisham El Rouby of Etijah