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Women for Resilient Cities Grand Finale: #SheIsResilient

  • Starts: Sep 11, 2015
  • Ends: Sep 11, 2015
  • Location: CMI, Marseille, France
  • By: World Bank
  • Context

    While around the world, the number of disasters has almost doubled since the 1980s, in MENA, the average number of natural disasters has almost tripled over the same period. Approximately 40 million people have been affected by over 350 natural disasters between 1981 and 2010. Vulnerabilities are on the rise across the region, with risks particularly high in urban areas as a result of rapid urbanization, conflict, massive influx of refugees, population growth, unplanned urban development, scarce water resources and arid climates.


    The Women for Resilience Program

    The Women for Resilience Program (W4R) aims at empowering women in tackling urban risk and developing resilience in cities across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Launched by the World Bank in January 2015, with the support of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), the Program piloted a startup competition in three cities in MENA: Beirut, Cairo and Djibouti. More than two hundred teams from the three cities, including women and men, presented start-up proposals. After careful due diligence and selection, seven teams qualified for the Grand Finale. The finalists’ proposals tackle resilience challenges across various sectors including energy, waste management, preventive healthcare, transport and informal settlements.


    Grand Finale Overview

    The Grand Finale is the occasion to demonstrate how women entrepreneurship can be a lever to stimulate resilience action for cities. Experts and successful entrepreneurs will demonstrate how resilience can be mainstreamed into business ideas, and provide success stories. This event will also highlight female leaders from the MENA region and showcase how they succeed at doing what they do.


    The Grand Finale of the Women Entrepreneurship Resilient Cities Competition will:

    • Provide an opportunity for the finalist’s to pitch their business proposals and leverage funding
    • Award the three winners of the Women for Resilience Program
    • Showcase innovative and successful business solutions to improve city resilience among business incubators, and local stakeholders across the MENA region
    • Advertise the 2nd phase of the Competition (expansion to more than 10 cities)


    Expected Outputs

    • Drawing in partners and investors to support resilient cities business
    • Promoting and encouraging resilience oriented action in the MENA region
    • Peer-to-peer learning by allowing all participants to learn from each other’s initiative and benefit from international business expertise.
    • Cross-country learning between cities stakeholders and business key players in the region.
    • Promote the development of and entrepreneurial ecosystem in the MENA region
    • Promote women entrepreneurship among women in the region 




    9:00 OPEN
    Welcome Remarks

     Giulia Marchesini

    CMI - Senior Partnership Officer
    Intro to Women for Resilient Cities

     Andrea Zanon

    World Bank, W4R Project Manager

     Juan Jose Güemes

    IE Business School, Chairman, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center
    Leveraging Women Entrepreneurship for Resilience

     Maya Karkour

    EcoConsult, Co-Founder

     Rahilla Zafar

    Co-author of the book 'Arab Women Rising'

     Sharif El-Badawi

    Google, Partner Lead - VCs and Startups
    10:30 COFFEE BREAK
    Finalists Pitch

     Hoda Mahmoud


     Asli Elmi


     Amira Ramadan


     Sara Helou


     Radwa Rostom


     Lama Tawk


     Yasmeen ElBakry


     Amira Rashad

    Head of Brand, Facebook Middle East North Africa

     Talan Aouny

    EMP, the Founder and CEO

     Aurore Belfrage

    Founder, Your Middle East
    Selection Committee

     Christina Ashtary


     Rolf Behrndt


     Juan Jose Güemes

    IE Business School, Chairman, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center

     John Walker


     Mouna Couzi

    World Bank - Country Operations Officer, Lebanon
    1:00 LUNCH
    2:30 ADJOURN


    Photo Gallery of the Event