Entrepreneurship and innovation can transform the economy and make Egypt part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, said the Swedish ambassador, Jan Thesleff, adding, “Women are key for this to happen.”
“The greatest asset of any country is its people. Egypt’s young and dynamic population, whereof more than half are women, is the natural source on which this great country’s future will be built,” the ambassador remarked during a reception held at his residence on Thursday evening.
The Embassy of Sweden in Cairo, in cooperation with UN Women Egypt, partnered with Entreprenelle’s SHE CAN summit, and hosted a reception at the Swedish ambassador’s residence to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD), which was attended by some of Egypt’s top female entrepreneurs.
The reception began with opening speeches from the Swedish ambassador, UN Women’s Country Representative, Blerta Aliko, and Rania Ayman, founder of Entreprenelle.
March 8th is IWD, and March 16th is Egyptian Women’s Day which also coincides with the anniversary of the establishment of the first Egyptian Feminist Union in 1928, the ambassador added.
The importance of women as part and parcel of the entrepreneurial and innovative society fabric should be highlighted every day, the ambassador noted.
Sweden is at the forefront globally for giving representation and resources to women, putting them on an equal footing with men, he added, noting, “I am proud to partner with Egypt and with Entreprenelle to share our experiences and to promote young Egyptian women business leaders.”
Aligning with this year’s IWD’s theme ‘balance for better’ and the UN Women theme ‘Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change,’ the Swedish embassy’s reception focused on the participation of women in Egypt’s entrepreneurial scene.
A panel discussion that focused on the challenges facing women entrepreneurs in Egypt was headed by Marie Therese, a managing partner in Flat6labs, and included Sahar Mounir, the founder of Nilepreneur, Rasha Magdy, the COO of Chefaa, and Amira Salah, head of strategies at WOMENA.
On 8 March, SHE CAN 19 took place–an annual summit for women in the entrepreneurial realm–organised by Enterprenelle, in partnership with the Embassy of Sweden in Cairo, which was attended by roughly 6,000 people.
Focusing on bringing together current and prospective female entrepreneurs, the summit offered a variety of activities, ranging from panel discussions and networking to pitching competitions and speed mentoring.
This year’s SHE CAN summit highlighted the stories of female entrepreneurs who turned various career setbacks and mistakes into successes.
Sweden’s work in the region aims to promote female extensive participation in the economy and it includes both educational training, financial aid, and other programmes.