UNIDO event at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum focuses on empowering women entrepreneurs in Europe and Arab region

UNIDO event at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum focuses on empowering women entrepreneurs in Europe and Arab region

ST. PETERSBURG, 31 MAY 2017 –The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) today convened an interregional forum to scale up women’s entrepreneurship in Europe and the Arab region. Held on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), the event featured case studies from both regions and showed best practices in the areas of policy, as well as institutional and grassroots solutions to support businesswomen.

The interregional nature of the event facilitated partnership-building among more than 170 delegates, most of whom represented the Arab region and Russia. They included national and regional experts in the economic empowerment of women, representatives of women’s entrepreneurship advocacy groups, and professional networks of men and women entrepreneurs, as well as members of other business networks.

Among the high-level speakers and guests was Galina Karelova, Deputy Chairperson of the Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of Russia;  Gulnaz Kadyrova, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of Russia; Nadiya Cherkassova, Head of the Committee on Women Entrepreneurship Development, OPORA Russia; Sheikha Hessa Al-Sabah, President of the Council of Arab Businesswomen; Leila Al Khaiat, Honorary World President of Femmes Chefs d’Entreprises Mondiales; Sheikha Hind bint Salman Al Khalifa, President of the Bahrain International Federation for Business and Professional Women and Amita Misra, Director, Department of Regional Programmes and Field Representation, UNIDO.

The central point debated was: How does scaling up women entrepreneurship contribute to inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) and boost economic growth? The session also looked into successful innovative approaches to women’s economic empowerment, and reviewed how UNIDO and its partners encourage entrepreneurship among women.

The event was organized by UNIDO, in cooperation with the Committee on Women’s Entrepreneurship Development, OPORA Russia, and the Arab International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Investment, Bahrain (AICEI), and was co-sponsored by the Government of the Russian Federation. Roscongress Foundation provided organizational support.  


The programme of the UNIDO Interregional Forum on Women Entrepreneurship – Challenges and Solutions in Europe and the Arab region (English) is available here.   

For more information contact:

Solomiya Omelyan,

Programme Officer
Regional Division - Europe and Central Asia