In March 2007 AIWF provided another opportunity to expand business partnerships and encourage greater participation in the global marketplace with an International Women’s Day seminar on 8 March 2007 held at DLA Piper UK. Two panels of distinguished speakers addressed the overall theme of Women’s Entrepreneurship as a Driver for Growth and Stability.
In speaking about the launch of the AIWF 2007 programme, Mrs Haifa Al Kaylani, Chairman AIWF, highlighted the reason why the theme of Globalisation, Trade and Entrepreneurship is so important when she said: “We believe that the future growth of the region must be built on making better use of all its resources, human and capital with women as an integral force.” Mrs Al Kaylani continued, “Women’s entrepreneur- ship is expanding around the world. Cooperation between the Arab world and the international community is vital to encourage this trend. AIWF is well placed to facilitate this link and put forth an agenda for positive change. The timing for Arab women to make real and tangible difference has never been more opportune nor the demand for their contribution greater.”
Speakers included: Laura Baeza, Head of the Unit for the Barcelona Process Directorate for External Affairs European Commission; Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean, Businesswomen and former Minister for the Middle East, UK Government; Florence Eid, Middle East Economist and Advisor to Pantera Capital Management; Rania Rizk, Senior International Counsel, PepsiCo International; Lama Al Sulaiman, Member, Board of Directors, Jeddah Chamber of Commerce.
The emphasis was on the role of the public /private sectors in stimulating entrepreneurship and women making an impact in SMEs and corporate business. A strong message emerged from all the speakers’ valued contributions when they advocated the aspects of best practices, partnerships, role models and sharing. The participation of AIWF partners both corporate and institutional and distinguished delegates from a wide spectrum of business and the professions had enhanced the debates making this a very special day with outcomes that would be another bridge for women’s advancement.
The AIWF Chairman on behalf of the Board acknowledged the valued support of Global Annual Partners, DLA Piper UK LPP as the Conference Partner and Shell International as the Programme Partner.