2018 Action Project – Wontrepreneur – Connecting Women, East to West


Julie Yang, Yara El Braidy, and Hanan Khayal

The Challenge

The economic and social benefits of a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem   are well recognized, and the importance of female participation in the labor force is well documented. However, female entrepreneurs continue to face challenges across different industries and economies. In Egypt, 11 percent of entrepreneurs are female. This is a notable increase, given that eight years ago, the figure was only three percent. Yet, challenges remain. According to the IFC, 30 percent of businesses in Egypt are female-owned, but women have access to less than 10 percent of commercial bank financing. In the United States, female founders received only $1.9 billion, which is roughly two percent of the total $85 billion invested by venture capitalists in 2017. This project will help identify common challenges for female entrepreneurs in Egypt and the United States and provide a platform to discuss potential solutions.

Project Overview

The project will launch a social media campaign to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities for female entrepreneurs in Egypt and the United States. The campaign will also feature Egyptian and American female entrepreneurs and shed light on the entrepreneurial landscape in both countries. Social media platforms for the campaign will include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. The project will conclude with a final report measuring the impact of the campaign and analyzing how both countries responded to the social media content.

The Goal

The main objective of the project is to stimulate dialogue between female entrepreneurs in Egypt and the United States. In doing so, the project aims to foster stronger relationships between Egyptian and American entrepreneurs that could lead to mentorships, business partnerships, and friendships. In addition, the project aims to feature female entrepreneurs in Egypt and the United States, as well as promote solutions to spur more female entrepreneurship.

Population Served

The target population for this project is female entrepreneurs in the United States and Egypt. While the  project is primarily targeted at stimulating dialogue between entrepreneurs and the business community in  both countries, the social media content will be shared with the wider online population and potentially reach  a global audience.

Project Milestones

Phase 1: Identify Entrepreneurs to Feature and Film Videos

The Egyptian and American Fellows will identify female entrepreneurs to feature in the social media campaign. Videos of interviews with entrepreneurs will highlight the challenges and opportunities women face in their respective country. The Fellows will also reach out to organizations focused on female entrepreneurship to build potential partnerships for content creation and dissemination.

Phase 2: Edit Videos and Create Content

Fellows will edit the videos and develop content prior to the social media launch. Content will be developed for various social media channels, including hashtags, tweets, Facebook posts,  and YouTube videos.

Phase 3: Launch of Social Media Campaign

The social media campaign will launch on International Women’s Day on March 8, 2019 and capitalize on the momentum surrounding the international conversation on women. Social media content will be published in Egypt and the United States across various online platforms.

Phase 4: Future Considerations

The Fellows will compile a final report analyzing the outcome and impact of the social media campaign. They will use the social media campaign as a foundation to consider future collaborations and initiatives to further advance female entrepreneurship in Egypt, the United States, and beyond.

Expected Outcome

  • Stimulate discussion and build relationships between female entrepreneurs in the United States and Egypt to foster more people-to-people dialogue.
  • Educate populations in Egypt and the United States that may be unfamiliar with the other country and showcase the local landscape for entrepreneurship.
  • Raise awareness of the common challenges female entrepreneurs face in Egypt and the United States, as well as identify common solutions to address these challenges.

Furthering the Foundation’s Mission

The project aligns with the central mission of the Gabr Fellowship to promote greater mutual understanding between Egypt and the United States. The Fellowship aims to grow this bicultural understanding through dialogue and the exchange of ideas. Likewise, the project provides a platform to facilitate dialogue and ideas surrounding female entrepreneurship. In doing so, the project aims to build meaningful and lasting relationships between Egyptians and Americans.