- RISING ATTENDANCE: Attendance averaged more than 700 in 2010 and 2011, exceeded 800 in 2012 and rose to nearly 1000 in 2013.
- A FOCUS ON MEANING AND RESULTS: Cutting edge insights and presentations; in depth discussion of the issues; wide space for networking, deal making, and the creation of opportunities.
- PROMISE: Not resting on its laurels, QIBWF will continue to be bigger, better, and more influential.
Last October, the third annual Qatar International Businesswomen Forum (QIBWF) wrapped up after its two-day run at the St Regis Doha Hotel. The Forum - which took place under the kind patronage of H.E. Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in Qatar - ran from 15 to 16 October, 2012 with the aim of discussing the leading issues around economic empowerment of women in the Arab World.
The event was organized by the Qatari Businesswomen Association in collaboration with Interactive Business Network (IBN), and has witnessed a heartening attendance of more than 800 people hailing from the Arab Countries, Germany, Turkey, the United Kingdom, US, Canada, Australia, Malaysia and others.
It is worth noting that the Forum has paid tribute to prominent personalities: H.E. Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in Qatar; H.E. Mr. Yousef Hussain Kamal, Minister of Economy and Finance in Qatar; H.E. Mrs. Reem Badran, Member of Parliament, Second Vice Chairman, Amman Chamber of Commerce - Jordan; Dr. Saad Al Barrak, Chairman, ILA Group - Kuwait; H.E. Mrs. Fatima Al Jaber, the Chairman of the Emirates Businesswomen Council - UAE, and Dr. Hayat Nazar, Director of the Al Noor Institute - Qatar.
The Forum, which was entitled 'Preparing for a New Era of Empowerment in the Arab World', was incredibly successful and provided many lessons learned. Several recommendations were derived from the experience, including:
- ● Extending working domains for women including within the energy sector, and providing more opportunities for women to be involved in different areas, in adherence with United Nations' promises of equality.
- ● Emphasizing empowerment and training in order to develop small companies and motivate them to competition.
- ● Establishing an investment fund within Arab countries to support youth and women, with the prioritization of project finance which concentrates on, and adds to, development strategies and economic feasibility.
- ● To invite private sector companies to follow up on strengthening the idea of Corporate Social Responsibility in the Arab world, seeking to achieve a permanent development in this regard with financial return in the future.
- ● Create awareness among the community about the woman's role and her contribution in facing challenges through the political and ongoing economic downturn.
- ● Achieve diversity for investments; Small- and Medium-sized projects, real estate sectors, healthcare, Governmental bonds for GCC countries, investments in emerging countries, and providing the pre-eminent experiences and foundations for investment management.
- ● To promote constant co-operation between Arab countries, which serves social projects and enrich women's productivity in all business sectors.
- ● Support the idea of establishing an Arab bank to promote productive projects exclusively for Arab women.
The essence of a successful forum is not only what goes on therein, it's all about legacy. In the case of the third edition of QIBF, the legacy is this: we look forward to continuing all the good work mentioned above - and new projects aside - for QIBWF 2013.
Without wishing to sound presumptuous, QIBWF is now a standard on the calendar of this burgeoning nation. The Forum past involved numerous influential speakers, brought many 'women in finance' issues to the fore, and it will do again. So will you join us in 2013?
The amount of good work that took place at QIBWF 2012, the networking, the deals made, the opportunities spotted and yet to be exploited, these are all things that make the Forum a success now, and going forward. The simple point is this: we will not rest on our laurels. A year is not a long time, and QIBWF is doing it all again next year: bigger, better, and more influential.
The second annual Qatar International Businesswomen Forum (QIBF) wrapped up after its two-day run at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Doha. The Forum - conducted under the kind auspices of Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development - ran all day through 17 and 18 May with the aim of discussing the leading issues of the hour on the economic empowerment of women in the Arab World.
This Forum, while incredibly successful, is now past. What must be examined now is the next step, what has been learned, and, where we go from here? Five key recommendations have come from the event from five attendant countries. These were For the UAE: To establish a GCC Businesswomen Council to enhance relations among Qatari businesswomen and their GCC counterparts.
For Lebanon: Call for a Socio-Economic Forum for Arab Women in order to achieve women's ambitions and establish partnerships between private sector, the civil society and government agencies to hold responsibility and take part in decision-making in social and economic affairs. Further, establish unions in order to push the government to issue fair regulations for women, or amend the existing laws.
For Jordan: Enhance women's role in the education curriculum and attract investment funds in order to finance pioneering projects in the Arab region. Support parliament and governmental roles to issue legislations that enable women to enter the workplace by providing the right tools for them. And, further, co-operation among Arab Women Associations to boost women's roles in business.
For Germany: Activate women's role in political growth and stability, and strengthen relations among Women Associations all over the world as well as continuing to exchange expertise. For Sudan: Establish a regional economic fund to develop training and education among Arab women.
Under the Patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned and the presence of H.E. Dr. Mohammed Saleh Al-Sada representing the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Industry in Qatar, H.E. Abdallah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, the Qatar International Business Women Forum was launched at the Sheraton Doha Hotel and Resorts on Monday, May 10, 2010 with the attendance of over 500 top officials, business women leaders and experts from Qatar and other Gulf and Arab countries.
The Forum concluded its sessions on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 and was organized by the Qatari Businesswomen Forum in collaboration with Interactive Business Network (IBN), Al Iktissad Wal Aamal Group and Al Hasnaa magazine.
During the opening, the Forum organizers presented Awards to honor:
- ●H.E. Abdallah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Industry, Qatar
- ●Sheikha Hessah Bint Khalifa Al-Thani, Former Special Rapporteur on Disability of the United Nations Commission for Social Development Qatar
- ●Mrs. Mary Macpherson, Program Director for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Businesswomen's Network, Vital Voices, USA
- ●Mrs. Aisha Al Fardan, Vice Chairman, Qatari Business Women Forum The Forum included six panels in addition to the opening that discussed the following topics:
- ●Role of Women in Business and Investment: A Comparison between the Arab World and the West: How do women compare internationally in terms of their position and role in politics, business and society? What are the factors that have helped women progress in some countries and not others? What lessons can be learned from the activism and experience of western women to overcome obstacles facing Arab women?
- ●Coaching Women to Take Over Leadership in Business and Develop a Strong Image: How can the leadership capacities and potential of businesswomen be developed, and are there special training programs for that purpose?
- ●Women in Corporate Life: Bridging the Credibility Gap: Women, and especially the young educated generation, are increasingly part of corporate life, whether in Arab corporations or foreign companies. But have they proved up to the task and are they now in a position to compete with men for the top leadership positions?
- ●Women in Family Business: What role for women in family-owned enterprises? Will the ongoing process of transition of these enterprises from one generation to the next give women a more pivotal role in their management?
- ●Women Entrepreneurs: The Hurdles Race: Do businesswomen succeed in some sectors better than others? Are they better than men in certain business activities and initiatives? Is the role of women largely limited to the management of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)?
- ●Role of Businesswomen Organizations and Networks: What is the situation of businesswomen's associations in the Arab countries and the world at large? Do they play an effective role? How can relations between these associations be activated?