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Bulletin No. 46


July 2016


The Association of Organisations of Mediterranean Businesswomen (AFAEMME) is a federation of businesswomen associations which was launched in 2002 in Barcelona (Spain). AFAEMME currently comprises 50 women entrepreneur organisations from 24 Mediterranean countries. AFAEMME is a coordinator of European and Mediterranean business and gender projects and ground-breaking research, a networking platform for businesswomen and women entrepreneurs from all over the Mediterranean and a Euro-Mediterranean lobby for strengthening gender equality and facilitating the access of women to decision-making positions in the economy.




AFAEMME’s She Decides, You Succeed successfully concluded with a big Conference that was held last June 2016 in Barcelona.

The Conference, which was co-organized by AFAEMME and the Women and Business Committee of the Catalan Employers Organisation “Foment del Treball”, explored the main conclusions and results of the project on encouraging companies to actively promote the access of women to decision-making positions through highlighting the importance and the benefits of having a greater gender balance in the different areas of responsibility in the company.

The Conference gathered high level institutional representatives such as Mr. Joaquín Gay de Montellá Ferrer-Vidal, President of Foment del Treball; Ms. Maria Teresa Pitarch i Albós, President of the Catalan Women’s Institute; and Mr. Ferran Taradellas Espuny, Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Barcelona.

Representatives from the project partners which analyzed the situation of women in top management, middle management, ICT and Innovative Companies -namely Ms. Mirella Visser, Managing Director of the Centre for Inclusive Leadership (CFIL); Ms. Tatijana Hine, member of European Women Inventors & Innovators Network International (EUWIIN); and Ms. Margarita Artal, General Secretary of the European Association for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology (WITEC)- opened a debate about several topics such as the lack of women in tech-related companies, quota laws and the so called chicken & egg situation.

The project partners which coordinated the informative meetings with the beneficiary private companies in the 5 involved countries also participated in the Conference: Ms. Inete Ielite, Chair of the Board of the Women’s NGOs Cooperation Network of Latvia (LSOST); Ms. Alice Botnarenco, President of Femei in Afaceri (Women in Business Romania); Ms. Sally Arkley, Director of the Women’s Economy (WE); Ms. Franca Audisio, President of Associazione Imprenditrici e Donne Dirigenti d’Azienda (AIDDA); Ms. Inmaculada Álvarez, President of Organización de Mujeres Empresarias y de Gerencia Activa (OMEGA); and Mr. Hermógenes del Real, Representative of OMEGA.

The main conclusions of the project are summarized here.


Phase II of the Young Women as Job Creators project concluded at the end of April, after one year of intensive work in the six beneficiary countries: Albania, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia.

The project, which was labeled by the Union for the Mediterranean and funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Principality of Monaco, started in March 2015 and provided at about 1.062 young women university students with motivation for entrepreneurship. 173 young women developed a professional business plan and 130 young women were trained in marketing, management and finance.

By the end of the implementation period 22 new businesses were started by the young women (mainly in Albania, Egypt and Morocco), while there are other 24 in the pipeline.

The Young Women as Job Creators II project brought to light the crucial link between internal motivation and business creation and it demonstrated that encouragement of entrepreneurial spirit from an early age is critical and that it is only through a sustained and holistic effort that long-term change can be achieved.

More information about the specific outcomes and the perceptions of the young participants related to entrepreneurship are available in our results leaflet.

GLOBAL GIVING – Mentoring high potential women entrepreneurs

This 2016 is the year of hope. The year in which entrepreneurship becomes an expression of a better future for several long term unemployed women in Spain through this project.

Through AFAEMME’s “Empower 20 Unemployed Women” project six women of different ages who were not able to reenter or enter the Spanish labour market were already supported to become future entrepreneurs, by working on their business ideas and developing their confidence and skills.

And thanks to all the received private donations, we had a seventh participant entering the program: a 50 years old woman who after losing her long-term employment as nurse worked hard with our mentor Beatriz and already has her business plan (BP) done and approved.

This year will be a positive year. For you and us who contributed to improve the lives of other people but especially for these women themselves who really got a second chance.


VII Euro-Mediterranean Encounter of Women Leaders in Politics and the Economy

On June 1st 2016 the Spanish Women's Institute in Madrid hosted the VII EMLIEPO 2016, an Euro-Mediterranean Encounter of Women Leaders in Politics and the Economy.

AFAEMME's Secretary General, Ms. Beatriz Fernández-Tubau Rodés participated in this event as speaker of a workshop about the Euro-Mediterranean region where she gave some insights about the specificities of women in business in the Mediterranean.

The event was organized by "Mujeres por el Diálogo y la Educación" and it was aimed at raising awareness about the importance of women's access to decision-making for a greater democratic and economic development.

One of the main conclusions of this event was that diversity has positive effects on a company's results.

Meeting with the Socialists & Democrats Group of the European Parliament at the Union for the Mediterranean

A few weeks ago AFAEMME participated in a meeting with the Socialists and Democrats Group of the European Parliament at the Union for the Mediterranean headquarters in Barcelona.

During the meeting the Association had the opportunity to present the "Young Women as Job Creators" initiative as instrument to promote women's empowerment in the Mediterranean and to explain the main outcomes of the project.

AFAEMME, member of the SwitchMed International High Level Jury of experts in the field of green entrepreneurship and eco-innovation

AFAEMME’s President and its international projects coordinator have been appointed by the SwitchMed initiative to be members of the International High Level Jury of experts in the field of green entrepreneurship and eco-innovation.

The SwitchMed initiative is funded by the European Union (EU) and collaboratively coordinated by the EU, UNIDO, UNEP/MAP, SCP/RAC and UNEP/DTIE and the aim of the SwitchMed’s Green Entrepreneurship Programme is strengthening green entrepreneurs in 9 South Mediterranean countries.

The International High Level Jury assesses the quality of 270 green business canvases presented by the best trainees between March 2016 and June 2017 and submits to the SwitchMed’s Green Entrepreneurship Programme the best 45 business ideas for awarding a serious of prizes.

In October 2016 the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site in Barcelona will host the SwitchMed Connect 2016, the second annual gathering of the Programme with more than 300 Mediterranean stakeholders to build synergies, exchange knowledge, and scale up eco and social innovations.


International Women in Business Conference Romania

The second edition of the largest business event organized by Women in Business Romania, a partner of AFAEMME, will bring together business people from all over the world for a full day of discussions on topics such as the evolution of the business environment and how women are shaping it, innovation and startups, branding and methods through which we can remain relevant in an online-centric business world.

Speakers and participants from Romania, Belgium, The Netherlands and UK have already confirmed their presence at the event.

Afaemme members have a 15% discount at the registration. Please request the discount code by writing "Code Romania" to afaemme@afaemme.org.

For details and to register, click here.

For more info please contact: afaemme@afaemme.org

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