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Posted On: 15 October 2015 01:53 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 01:54 pm

AIWF initiative Young Arab Women Leaders: The Voice of the Future to launch in partnership with Qatar Chamber, Qatar Businesswomen Forum, PwC and QBIC

Reem Fakhri
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AIWF initiative Young Arab Women Leaders: The Voice of the Future to launch in partnership with Qatar Chamber, Qatar Businesswomen Forum, PwC and QBIC

Following on from the success of its inaugural events in the Young Arab Women Leaders: The Voice of the Future series in Amman, Beirut and Dubai in 2012, Palestine in 2013, and London in 2011 and 2014, the Arab International Women’s Forum (AIWF) is proud to announce its seventh Conference of the series and its first ever event in Doha, Qatar in October 2015.

The one-day Conference aims to recognise and celebrate the contribution of business women in Qatar and to inspire the next generation of young Qatari women leaders to contribute to the development of the Qatari economy and to MENA economic growth overall. It will address how the government, civil society, the media and the academic sector can help young people in business achieve their potential by launching and growing scalable, profitable businesses that will create jobs and positively impact Qatar’s economy.

AIWF will be working closely with its Global Partner PwC, all AIWF Global Partners, the Qatar Business Incubation Centre as Host Partner, and with the full and invaluable support of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Qatar Businesswomen Forum.

Haifa Al Kaylani, Founder Chairman of AIWF, said: “I am especially proud that the first AIWF Conference in Qatar is part of the successful Young Arab Women Leaders series because Qatar is fertile ground for women-owned businesses. Women in Qatar are also among the most educated in the MENA region, with more than 70% holding a degree, and Qatar has a higher percentage of women in the formal workforce than the regional average, with Qatar’s gender employment gap also lower than most Arab countries. As Qatar moves towards the realisation of its 2030 Vision, there is no doubt that the role of women will be critical to its success. The involvement of the government will be instrumental to improving access to small business grants that can cover startup costs, and to providing free information resources, entrepreneurship exchange programmes and management skills development. AIWF is very much looking forward to supporting that process.”

Ibtehaj Al Ahmadani, Board Member of the Qatar Chamber, and Chairperson of the Qatar Businesswomen Forum said: “We are pleased to welcome the Young Arab Women Leaders conference for the first time in Qatar. We believe it will inspire many young Arab women by showcasing success business stories, the ups and downs in business life and ways to be a leader as talented young women. Qatar Chamber represented by Qatar Businesswomen Forum gives its full support to the success of this Conference. Women’s empowerment is an integral part of Human Development, which is an important pillar of Qatar national vision 2030. It's an investment in our societies and our future.“

Qatar Development Bank (QDB) CEO and Qatar Business Incubation Centre (QBIC) Chairman Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Al Khalifa said: “We are delighted to be supporting this important Conference, especially since the number of ambitious and successful Qatari women who wish to lead their own careers is increasing, and conferences such as this, offers them the recognition and empowerment they deserve."

He added: "At QDB and QBIC we encourage women to explore the entrepreneurial world and provide them with the support and services they need to kick-off their own businesses, and to prosper in a competitive market place. I'm very proud to say that 19 of our incubatees so far are women with innovative, thriving businesses, and a drive to build an even stronger career."

Wadih AbouNasr, Qatar Country Senior Partner of PwC said: " At PwC, we believe that women are a critical talent group to enable us to continue our growth and to build trust and help our clients address their most important challenges. We seek to provide an inclusive environment for women throughout their careers, by providing them with the resources, role models, mentors and support that contribute to their successes. As part of our continuous commitment in the region to invest in and develop local talent, in September 2015 more than 250 graduates joined our firm across the region from top universities, 32% of the graduates were females, which reinforces PwC’s commitment to provide more opportunities for women and support their success. AbouNasr added: " We are proud to support AIWF in creating a better future for our region and more opportunities for our women and our future generations."

The event will address opportunities for collaboration between Qatar and the international business community on developing and widening the role of women business leaders; exploring the challenges, prospects and success stories for women doing business in the MENA region; how to take full advantage of the unprecedented opportunities arising from technology and cross-border commerce; and the role of social media in Arab entrepreneurship and the role that social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter can play in promoting and mainstreaming the successes and challenges of Arab women entrepreneurs.

The Conference will close with reflections on leadership, where distinguished women leaders from Qatar and across the region will be invited to share success stories, exchange experiences on how best to deal with the inevitable challenges of entrepreneurship; and an important session in which leaders from prominent corporations present in the region will discuss the dynamics of the Arab business community with relevant and valuable advice on how to navigate through challenges with agility and creativity.

Mrs Al Kaylani has described the event as “a milestone in AIWF’s mission to promote education, leadership training, capacity building, self-development and networking for Arab women and youth in all sectors of business and professional life.” The agenda of the Young Arab Women Leaders series was carefully developed with the close involvement of young women leaders in the region, and delegates will be addressed by a number of distinguished speakers including Mrs Haifa Al Kaylani, Founder Chairman of AIWF, Ms Ibtehaj Al Ahmadani, Chairperson and Founder Al Ahmadani Centre & Executive Board Member, Qatar Chamber; Mr Abdulaziz Al Khalifa, CEO Qatar Development Bank; and Mrs Aysha Al Mudahka, CEO Qatar Business Incubation Center, among others.

The Young Arab Women Leaders event in Doha will take place on Wednesday 28 October 2015 at the Qatar Business Incubation Centre in Doha, Qatar. For more information on the conference or to view the programme and list of speakers, please visit Additional events in this series are planned for other Arab countries in 2016 and beyond.

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