Event Reports

Mediterranean Women Digital Summit 2021

Accelerating Digital Transformation of Women-led SMEs

In its 4th edition, this year’s Mediterranean Women Digital Summit convened female activists, entrepreneurs and experts to discuss the digitalization of businesses. The summit adopted a hybrid form with a significant presence of participants and speakers in Tunis, and connected participants through Zoom from different countries of the South Mediterranean region. The summit stretched from 22-23 September 2021 and focused on “accelerating Digital Transformation of Women-led SMEs” in the context of Covid-19 and how it can improve economic empowerment for women in the region.

Since 2018, The Mediterranean Women Digital Summit brings together female activists, entrepreneurs and women-led businesses to delve into the challenges and discuss different opportunities to empower women economically in the South Mediterranean region. This year’s edition particularly explored women-led SMEs and their ways of improving through Digital Transformation. The summit contained different keynote speakers, panels and an interactive workshop which was conducted for the participants. The aim of this summit was to shed light on different trends and policies supporting SMEs in the region but also to explore new opportunities in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and make women-led SMEs more resilient.

Her Excellency the Minister of Women, Family, Children and the Elderly, Mrs. Imen Houimel, opened the summit with a speech stressing the importance of women-led businesses in the region and their impact on the economies of their respective countries. The summit also provided insightful inputs from the Country Director of the UN Women Tunisia/Libya, Mrs. Maria Begona, Lasagabaster, who had a presentation on the digital revolution and discussed gender equality in the Tunisian and Libyan Covid-19 context. The Chief Office for Arab State in the International Trade Center, Mrs. Lilia Naas, also presented the different ways of helping developing countries harness e-commerce and digital trade for development. The second day also witnessed an intuitive presentation by the Co-Chair in Digital Arabia Network, Mr. Ayad Al-Ani, who talked about the end of low-wage production, the impact of automation on employment and trade and the new models of digital economy.

The panels also enabled a high level and rich exchange of views between the speakers and the participants where topics like the relevance of Digital Transformation for SME’s for South Mediterranean economies, how can digital empower women-led businesses, the challenges faced by SME’s in the wake of the pandemic and how they adapted their strategies to overcome them were discussed.

The second day also consisted of an interactive workshop entitled “Bouncing Back, Creating Resilient Organizations” where the moderator involved both participants (physical and virtual) in a set of exercises and inspirational discussion on how to empower women in workplace. 

The summit will be followed by a selection of 3 women-led SME’s to benefit from “in-depth maturity assessment sessions” with KAS PolDiMed partner, Digital 2 Value.

 

 

 

Contact

Manel Hamdi

manel.hamdi@kas.de