Agenda 2030: unleashing the potential of women entrepreneurs

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Agenda 2030: unleashing the potential of women entrepreneurs

Summary

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires the active participation of women, including those working in the private sector. The good news is that female entrepreneurship is on the rise globally, with women-owned businesses contributing to the global economy. But with only ten years left to meeting Agenda 2030 targets, the full potential of women-led businesses has yet to be unleashed. If women had the same lifetime earnings as men, global wealth could increase by $160 trillion—an average of $23,620 per person—in 141 countries studied by the World Bank. However while they create new businesses, disrupt established industries and develop innovative platforms at a record pace, women entrepreneurs still have less access to finance than their male counterparts: 80% of women-owned businesses with credit needs are either unserved or underserved.

  • What policies are needed at the European and international level to make a stronger link between women-led businesses and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals?
  • What are public and private financial institutions doing to support women entrepreneurs so that they can achieve their full potential and make a lasting difference to the national – and global – economy?
  • How can women entrepreneurs, especially those in more marginalised communities, convince still-sceptical banks and other potential investors, of the commercial value of their enterprises?
About

About

This event is part of our Development Policy Forum (DPF), which brings together a number of important development actors, including the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the United Nations and the World Bank. Reflecting the growing role of the private sector in development, the DPF has now welcomed Coca-Cola and Eni to the forum. The DPF contributes to the global and European conversation on inclusive development. Through its activities and publications, the DPF reflects the rapidly-changing global debate on growth and development and seeks to encourage a multi-stakeholdered, fresh, up-to-date thinking on the multiple challenges facing the development community.

This event is held on occasion of the CEPS Ideas Lab and it is by invitation only.


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Schedule

Schedule

Agenda 2030: unleashing the potential of women entrepreneurs Expand Agenda 2030: unleashing the potential of women entrepreneurs

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires the active participation of women, including those working in the private sector. The good news is that female entrepreneurship is on the rise globally, with women-owned businesses contributing to the global economy. But with only ten years left to meeting Agenda 2030 targets, the full potential of women-led businesses has yet to be unleashed. If women had the same lifetime earnings as men, global wealth could increase by $160 trillion—an average of $23,620 per person—in 141 countries studied by the World Bank. However while they create new businesses, disrupt established industries and develop innovative platforms at a record pace, women entrepreneurs still have less access to finance than their male counterparts: 80% of women-owned businesses with credit needs are either unserved or underserved.

  • What policies are needed at the European and international level to make a stronger link between women-led businesses and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals?
  • What are public and private financial institutions doing to support women entrepreneurs so that they can achieve their full potential and make a lasting difference to the national – and global – economy?
  • How can women entrepreneurs, especially those in more marginalised communities, convince still-sceptical banks and other potential investors, of the commercial value of their enterprises?

This debate is part of our horizontal theme ‘Investing in the future’ through which we look at investment’s role in forging the way for a better future and identify areas where more is needed.

Speakers

Alexandra Almeida

Senior Officer Lending Operations Central and South East Europe Department, Banks Division at the European Investment Bank (EIB), Luxembourg

Rym Ayadi

Founder and President of the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA) and Senior Advisor at CEPS

Itir Aykut

Partner at Aykut Investments, Turkey

Lieve Creten

Managing Partner of the Financial Advisory (FA) practice at Deloitte Belgium

Tamako Mitarai

President of Kesennuma Knitting, Japan

Bouchra Rahmouni

Director for Research, Partnerships & Events at the Policy Center for the New South, Morocco

Krystel Sil Sikana

Chief Executive Officer of cube4steam

End of debate
Speakers

Speakers

Alexandra Almeida
Alexandra Almeida

Senior Officer Lending Operations Central and South East Europe Department, Banks Division at the European Investment Bank (EIB), Luxembourg

Show more information on Alexandra Almeida

After four years at the Banco Espírito Santo, Alexandra Almeida felt a strong desire to go ‘international’ again, and joined the European Investment Bank (EIB) in Portugal. Having previously worked in New York City and London doing macroeconomic analysis, financing large EIB projects was a natural progression for her. Her proudest achievements include financing initiatives to accelerate the green transition, improve mobility in Portugal and modernise schools. She also leads a pioneering work programme to increase access to finance for women-owned, women-led and women-supporting enterprises in developing or emerging countries.

Rym Ayadi
Rym Ayadi

Founder and President of the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA) and Senior Advisor at CEPS

Show more information on Rym Ayadi

Rym Ayadi’s fields of expertise include international financial systems, financial markets and institutions, global financial regulation, governance and consumer protection in finance, and socio-economic development and foresight in economies in transition. Her current research focuses on the redesign of a global stable, sustainable and inclusive financial system that better serves economic and societal long-term objectives with a particular emphasis on the diversity of corporate and business models. Ayadi is an expert-level member of several committees at both the European Commission and the European Parliament, and the founder of the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA) and the Euro-Mediterranean Network for Economic Studies (EMNES).

Itir Aykut
Itir Aykut

Partner at Aykut Investments, Turkey

Show more information on Itir Aykut

In addition to her marketing, sales and strategic management experience in several multinationals, Itir Aykut has been an entrepreneur as a partner in her own right, with her company, GEMINI Tourism running international meetings and conferences. She has also co-established and partnered in two other SMEs, namely Tokyo Restaurant & Sushi Bar and Shark Advertising. Her current endeavour, Aykut Investments is the result of collecting all of her businesses – Aykut Foods, Aykut Property, Aykut Atelier and Aykut DMC – under one roof. As a result of this considerable experience, she has built up an array of expertise in different sectors pertaining to Turkey’s economic interests.

Lieve Creten
Lieve Creten

Managing Partner of the Financial Advisory (FA) practice at Deloitte Belgium

Show more information on Lieve Creten

Lieve Creten started her career with Deloitte in the Audit Department, which took her across the Atlantic Ocean and had her working on a variety of assignments in the USA, mostly for P&G in Ohio. Creten has a wide experience in Transaction Services, including bid support, (vendor) due diligence, M&A negotiations, deal structuring, post-acquisition and merger integration services. Creten serves both Private Equity and corporate clients providing acquisition and vendor advice, often on a cross-border level. Although Creten worked in a variety of industries, she developed a focus on the Healthcare the consumer goods and the building materials sector.

Tamako Mitarai
Tamako Mitarai

President of Kesennuma Knitting, Japan

Show more information on Tamako Mitarai

Taking over Kesennuma Knitting in 2013, Tamako Mitarai wanted to go beyond business, and create bonds between consumer and producer. To that end, when the company launched its first product it was priced at around ¥150,000 (around €1250), in order to properly compensate the knitters for their long hours of labour. Moreover, the profile of the knitter is posted on the company website, so buyers truly understand that they are buying the fruit of another’s labour, and not just a product. Mitarai now hopes to embed Kesennuma Knitting in Japanese consumer conscience for generations to come.

Rahmouni
Bouchra Rahmouni

Director for Research, Partnerships & Events at the Policy Center for the New South, Morocco

Show more information on Bouchra Rahmouni

An expert on social entrepreneurship and new development models, Bouchra Rahmouni works in one of the largest think tanks in Morocco, and one of the most important in Africa. A prolific writer, she writes about geopolitics and women entrepreneurship. Her “Femme et entrepreneur, c’est possible!”, has served as a guide to motivate women to start and run businesses. Rahmouni regularly lectures in world forums and within prestigious institutions and universities in France, Hong Kong, the United States, South Korea, Lebanon and Switzerland.

Krystel Sil Sikana
Krystel Sil Sikana

Chief Executive Officer of cube4steam

Show more information on Krystel Sil Sikana

Krystel Sil Sikana could never be accused of having too narrow a focus. As well as her current organisation cube4steam, which advocates for STEAM-talent development among the African diaspora in Belgium and on the continent, she is also the founder of HISHI, aimed at youth empowerment and skilling in the diaspora and in Africa. Alongside this, Sil Sikana is an Ambassador of the Africa 35.35 awards, which recognise inspiring young African/Afro-descendants aged 18 to 35 who have made outstanding achievements in their communities. The awards have grown beyond Francophone Africa, and recognise young people from a wide variety of fields.

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