Dozens of businesswomen from across the world gathered in Morocco earlier this week to explore new possibilities and build new connections fostered by the power of innovation and coexistence.
“The Middle East and Africa regions are growing at a rapid pace and innovation is a key component to that,” said Avi Hasson, CEO of Start-Up Nation Central, which organized the event.
Start-Up Nation Central is a non-profit organization that promotes Israeli innovation around the world to help solve global challenges, and Morocco’s Consensus Public Relations.
“Last year, we held the Connect to Innovate conference in Casablanca which brought together hundreds of Israeli and Moroccan business leaders,” Hasson added. “This gathering deepens the dialogue among professional networks from across the MEA region and recognizes the important role that women play in the innovation ecosystem. We are proud to provide a platform to encourage further collaboration.”
As an organization at the fore front of ushering a new era of shared economic opportunities for the Middle East, Start-Up Nation Central focused its “Women Connect to Innovate” initiative on the challenges faced in the region and in and Africa and how they are defined not just by geography, culture or religion. In addition, the initiative aimed at exploring how to secure women’s access to financial security, education and the basic infrastructure in order to allow them to build successful careers in the field of their choice.
Participants came from Bahrain, Benin, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, the United States, and others.
The event was also organized in cooperation with companies and organizations such as Google, Women in Tech, CESE (Conseil Economique Social et Environnemental), Morocco’s Ministry of Soldiery, FRDISI (Fondation de Recherche de Development et d’innovation en Sciences et Ingenierie), UM6P (Mohammed VI Polytechnic University), OMPIC,the Gulf-Israel Women’s Forum, and Leaders on Purpose.
“By bringing together prominent women in business, innovation and technology from the region, we are creating a cohort of women which will help propel our region forward,” said Start-Up Nation Central Director of Innovation Diplomacy Aviva Steinberger. During the last three days, the groundwork for new collaborations has been laid and we look forward to seeing the partnerships evolve.”
The workshops and panel discussions highlighted how the MEA countries are closely aligned in presenting challenges when it comes to empowering women. At the same time, much of the innovation that is the output of these countries includes solutions in sectors such as water technology, renewable energy, ag-tech, human capital, and health tech, all of which represent business opportunities to tackle challenges not only locally but worldwide. Because all over the world, societies where women thrive are societies that share greater prosperity.
This article was written in cooperation with Start-Up Nation Central