AIWF President & Founder Haifa Al Kaylani recently delivered the Keynote Opening Address for the Centre for Entrepreneurship, Employability, and Leadership (CEEL) 2022 Global Summer Summit, organised by the GSEP Centre for Entrepreneurship, Employability, and Leadership in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
The Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership and Legacy (WELL) global mission is to accelerate women’s entrepreneurship ecosystems while building, empowering, and mobilising young girls and women as entrepreneurs and leaders with career coaching, power skills and resilience tools, enterprise and employability enhancement, outreach engagement, mentorship, networking opportunities, and leadership development. These have all been key priorities in AIWF’s many initiatives and especially through our Young Arab Women Leaders initiative.
In her keynote, Haifa gave an overview of the current ecosystem for women-led entrepreneurship and innovation both in the UK and the Arab world, including and especially in the digital economies, and explored why we need a global vision and ecosystem for women entrepreneurship. She shared key research that evidences the positive impact that women’s economic participation could make in the UK and MENA economies if women were empowered to play their rightful roles in economic and social development. And she discussed the universal barriers that continue to hold women entrepreneurs back in both the UK and the Arab world – namely, access to finance and financial inclusion, cultural and social barriers, the heightened global economic inequality and rising poverty rates among women after Covid-19 (especially now as the world faces an unprecedented cost of living crisis compounded by food inflation), and the unpaid care burden, the ‘invisible labour’ which disproportionately falls to women and restricts their economic participation.
“In the UK, in the Arab states, and everywhere, we need inclusive legislation that entrenches equality into every sector and sphere. In the workplace, we need policies and programmes that work for women and for families. We need entrepreneurship education programmes that inspire and steer graduates towards realising their true potential, pursuing what interests them most passionately, and in the process, finding innovative and sustainable solutions to the world’s most critical development challenges. We need more incubation clusters that specifically empower women in research, innovation, enterprise and entrepreneurship, with more accessible funding, business plan support, and financial advice.” – Haifa Al Kaylani, President & Founder of AIWF
AIWF congratulates Dr. Kafayat Kehinde Lamidi Globally Accelerating Growth Impact and Empowering for her leadership on this outstanding conference which AIWF was most proud to support on this occasion. The video recording of the Summit is available here.