Tunis, Tunisia

Union for the Mediterranean




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Type of the event
Face-to-face event

Based on 7 years’ experience of dialogue with women entrepreneurs, national women business organisations, international leading organisations and business support schemes from the Euro-Mediterranean region, the UfM Women Business Forum is a regional platform taking place every year offering female entrepreneurs and women-led businesses a unique opportunity to grow their business to the next level by learning from successful and innovative business models, and by building business connections with diverse and high-level international business leaders, policy makers and experts from the world’s leading companies.

It allows to share knowledge and ideas on various business opportunities, good practices, and innovative and successful business models. It bring together high-level panels with international business and industry experts, as well as site visits to leading companies in the targeted sectors.

In its last editions, the UfM Women Business Forum has benefited from the successful cooperation with UNIDO, leading to the joint organization of the 2022 edition under the theme “Gender-Smart Financing to Unlock Women’s Entrepreneurial Potential in the MENA region" and this year’s edition on “Women in Industry and Innovation”.

In this year’s edition, the Women Business Forum (WBF) co-organised by UfM and UNIDO, will explore the thematic of empowering “Women in Industry and Innovation”, by specifically addressing the following points:

  • analyse the negative and positive impacts of Industry 4.0 on female workers and entrepreneurs within the manufacturing sector alongside the value-chains related to agribusiness (incl. creative and textile industries)
  • explore how women economic empowerment, entrepreneurship, and leadership can thrive in the era of Industry 4.0 by harnessing the right skills
  • discuss which models and good practices should be disseminated to ensure women are empowered to achieve a strong leadership role in innovation sectors, such as Artificial Intelligence, Energy and Circular Economy, ICT, and Digitalization
  • foster a change of behavior and attitude towards women entrepreneurs in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) field
  • encourage girls and women to pursue careers and entrepreneurial endeavours in fields considered to be male dominated, particularly in industry

This year the UfM-UNIDO Women Business Forum will include

  • One multi-stakeholder (policymakers, women business associations, entrepreneurs) working group to exchange ideas and develop an innovative solution to a common challenge
  • Inspiring Talks from female entrepreneurs under the motto “No career path is a straight line”
  • Two round tables with the participation of women entrepreneurs and executives, women’s empowerment stakeholders, high-level international decision makers and experts from the public and private sector
  • A Pitching Contest and Awards Ceremony for promising young aspiring women entrepreneurs within Industry and Innovation fields. The winners being honored with Ideation, Sustainability, and Social Innovation Awards
  • A Connecting the Dots session with policymakers and national institutions where female entrepreneurship representatives within the MENA region will present their innovative approaches and solutions
  • Networking opportunities

To enable women to succeed in this critical age, a fundamental understanding of the effects of Industry 4.0 is needed. The 2023 WBF represents a platform for sharing knowledge, experiences, best practices, and recommendations. Join the UfM-UNIDO Women Business Forum 2023 in analysing the impact of Industry 4.0 on women’s employability, entrepreneurship, and leadership around the Mediterranean Basin, and exploring emerging opportunities. Participate in discussions and workshops on advancing women’s economic empowerment in Industry and Innovation, alongside driven entrepreneurs, business leaders and advisors, professionals, incubators, investors, civil servants, and policy makers.

The 2023 WBF is aligned with the priority theme of the sixty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women (6-17 March 2023): “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”.

In the months leading to the 2023 WBF, UNIDO launched a social media campaign aligned with the forum’s theme (“Women in Industry and Innovation Communication Campaign”) through its UfM-labelled project on “Promoting Women’s Empowerment (PWE) for Industrial and Sustainable Industrial Development in the MENA region”. In a series of podcast and video interviews, several MENA women entrepreneurs shared their valuable insights on succeeding in fields considered to be male dominated. The campaign’s key outcomes are going to be presented at the forum.