WeMENA is building resilience across the region by connecting women entrepreneurs and innovators, and empowering them with Silicon Valley mentors, resources, learning, connections, and $150,000 in cash grants.
Could it be you?
WeMENA empowers and equips women entrepreneurs to solve the future’s most difficult problems. Through a business model challenge, WeMENA accelerates innovative solutions that will help eight cities across the Middle East and North Africa build resilience and better adapt to chronic stresses and shocks. Contestants in this challenge will receive business training, guidance from mentors in the Silicon Valley and beyond, and the chance to compete for a share of $150,000 in cash awards.
For this round, WeMENA is looking for entrepreneurs whose ideas build resilience in one or more of the following cities: Beirut, Byblos, Ramallah, Amman, Cairo, Alexandria, Tunis, Casablanca.
Network with mentors from Silicon Valley and around the world
In-Person Workshops & Webinars
Training in business skills, design-thinking, resilience-thinking, networking and pitching
Final Winners receive grants from a pool of $150,000 prize money
Resilience is the ability for individuals, communities and systems to survive, adapt and grow in spite of stresses and shocks. From the impacts of climate change, to an influx of refugees, cities across the MENA face a growing number of environmental, social and economic challenges, which each bring change and uncertainty. Building resilience requires a forward-thinking, interdisciplinary and proactive approach to preventing and reducing the effects of inevitable challenges, rather than dealing with the aftermath of these stresses later.
As the region continues its fast-paced urbanization, city residents will become increasingly more exposed to the adverse effects of climate change, and subject to social, economic, and financial stresses and shocks. In order to build more resilient cities capable of withstanding such hazards, we are looking for women entrepreneurs who are innovating in the following categories:
Ventures in this area will address inefficiencies in agriculture, and will improve food systems to provide better food security for all
Ventures in this area will improve reliable access to electricity, will introduce sustainable energy resources, and will help preserve and restore the environment
Ventures in this area will improve access to water and to sanitation for all
Ventures in this area help create more resilient urban spaces through better connectivity, housing quality, and improves the resilience component of new and existing infrastructure
Ventures in this area improve government transparency and civic engagement
Ventures in this area improve their communities’ health systems and make them more resilient
Ventures in this area use cutting-edge technology to build more robust services to customers, improve financial inclusion in their communities, and help the government better deliver services to those in need by leveraging data
Ventures in this area reduce the bottlenecks in the job market, and improve social cohesion and outcomes
Ventures in this area help communities better prepare themselves in the face of natural disasters, flooding, and extreme weather, among others
Starting Dec 6th, WeMENA will welcome submissions from around the world!
Dec 6 - Jan 17
Submit your application through the YouNoodle platform.
Submissions close and judging period starts.
200 women entrepreneurs will be notified to join WeMENA200, a network for training and mentorship.
Feb 20 - Mar 20
WeMENA200 will develop their project ideas with guidance and resources from mentors.
30 finalists will be selected to pitch at the Grand Finale event.
Top 3 winners will be selected to win a share of $150,000 prize money.
In January 2015, IE Business School and World Bank launched Phase 1 of the Women for Resilience Initiative. We accelerated 60 women-led startups in three different cities (Cairo, Beirut and Djibouti) and trained nine semi-finalists in business skills. In September 2015, we selected three finalists and awarded them $55,000 in grants. Here are their stories: