The Mediterranean Women Digital Summit 2022 - Regionalprogramm Politischer Dialog und regionale Integration im Südlichen Mittelmeer
On 26-27 September, 2022, the Regional Programme Political Dialogue South Mediterranean of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS PolDiMed) organized the fifth edition of the Mediterranean Women Digital Summit (MWDS22). Held for the first time in Amman, Jordan, the summit explored the trends and patterns of female founded and/ or led startups funding, policies and practices to support a stronger and better funding of women-led startups in the South Mediterranean region. The summit also offered B2B networking connecting early-stage women startups with business angels and seed investors.
The summit witnessed the participation of 16 promising women-led early-stage startups, which were selected from Algeria, Jordan, Libya, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia following a Call for Applications. In addition to hosting an array of panel discussions and keynotes, the 5th edition encompassed new components such as a field visit and pitching sessions.
To start with, panels were very engaging, illuminating, and thought-provoking. Investors, policy-makers, and experts were all involved in the debate to critically unpack the wide existing gap with regard to access to finance for women-led early stage startups. Among the themes addressed were the legal and institutional entrepreneurial framework in the South Mediterranean region and the best policies to forge a better investment climate for women-led startups. The questions tackled ranged also from funding and investment opportunities to female founders’ communities to specialized funds that create accelerating spaces for women founders. Equally important, distinguished speakers also delivered insightful keynotes on the landscape of startup funding in MENA and the ecosystem in Jordan with the focus on women founders.
In the evening of the first day of the summit, both the selected startups and invited speakers visited Zain Innovation Campus (ZINC), widely regarded as a reference and landmark in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Jordan. It was a key opportunity to learn about the best practices on how to accelerate the growth of the startups.
On the second day of the event, the 16 selected startups pitched their projects in front of the panels of experts where they received comprehensive feedback-bringing new perspectives to their ideas. KAS PolDiMed was particularly pleased about the participation of HE MR. Ahmad Hanandeh, Minister of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship of Jordan, who joined the panel of juries and shared insightful remarks to refine the ideas of the selected startups. The latter also benefited from the views and advice they exchanged with the rest of participants who are at a similar stage in their startups.