The Women’s Enterprise for Sustainability (WES) program brought together representatives from each of the eight WES partner organizations and 24 women entrepreneurs for a two-day conference (March 10th and 11th) in Hammamet, Tunisia. The goal of the conference was to exchange best practices and lessons learned; showcase and celebrate WES achievements; and plan for the sustainability of WES centers and entrepreneurs’ network.
We were very honored to be joined by distinguished guests from the U.S. Embassy, the U.S. Department of State’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and Microsoft, as well as a panel of experts on entrepreneurship in Tunisia.
WES Country Director Chéma Gargouri shared program accomplishments after two years of programming including that, as a result of WES, 150 women have started or expanded businesses, while over 600 Tunisian women have developed business plans and are well positioned to launch new businesses once a new microfinance law is passed.
An excellent panel discussion on supporting women entrepreneurs in Tunisia was led by Leila Belkhiria Jaber, Vice-President, National Women Chamber of Commerce (CNFCE); Fares Mabrouk, Tunisia Country Director, Yunus Social Business; Dr. Soukaina Bouraoui, Executive Director, Center on Arab Women Research (CAWTAR); and Tahar Ben Lakhdar, Chairman of the Board and CEO Esprit -Ecole Supérieur Privée d’Ingénierie et de Technologie.