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Bulletin No. 47


December 2016


The Association of Organisations of Mediterranean Businesswomen (AFAEMME) is a federation of businesswomen associations which was launched in 2002 in Barcelona (Spain). AFAEMME currently comprises 51 women entrepreneur organisations from 24 Mediterranean countries. AFAEMME is a coordinator of European and Mediterranean business and gender projects and ground-breaking research, a networking platform for businesswomen and women entrepreneurs from all over the Mediterranean and a Euro-Mediterranean lobby for strengthening gender equality and facilitating the access of women to decision-making positions in the economy.



MARIA HELENA DE FELIPE awarded at Medaweek 2016 (31th October)

On the 10th Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders, the Mediterranean Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME) has awarded the Mediterranean Prize to the president of the Association of Mediterranean Business Organizations (AFAEMME), María Helena de Felipe, for her contribution to the empowerment of women in the European region.

ASCAME awards each year the Mediterranean award to personalities, companies, foundations or entities whose actions have a positive impact on the development of the region and on the transmission of values.

ASCAME highlighted that the prize has been awarded to Ms. De Felipe, also President of Fepime, for "contributing to the socio-economic development of the region, in particular to women’s empowerment of women."

The Association of Business Organizations of the Mediterranean is a federation of business associations that was born in 2002 in Barcelona and it currently comprises 51 member organizations from 24 Mediterranean countries.

Its objectives are the strengthening of gender equality, the economic empowerment of women, the promotion of entrepreneurship and the promotion of women's access to decision-making positions in the economy.

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AFAEMME at WINGS Final Conference, Bergamo (1st -2nd December)

Last December 2nd, AFAEMME attended the Final Conference of WINGS, a European project on women entrepreneurship and networking for young entrepreneurs in Bergamo (Italy). Ms. Marta Maiques was invited to participate at the panel "Female entrepreneurship Journeys in Europe", where she presented the activities of the association and the project "Young women as job creator", which was related with the themes of the conference: networking, entrepreneurship and training for young people.

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MARIA HELENA DE FELIPE at Euromed Summit of Economic and Social Council ( 25th October)

On the 25th October, Maria Helena de Felipe, Member of Board of the EESC-European Economic and Social Committee and EUROMED Committee, participated at the conference "Women as job creators in the Euromed region" under the topic "Contribution of organized civil society to addressing regional challenges" at the Euromed Summit in Athens (24th- 25th October, Vravrona (Greece)

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AFAEMME, part of the UfM meeting of international experts on women’s empowerment (10th- 11th October)

On Monday 10th October, Maria Helena de Felipe, President of AFAEMME, was invited to the Third High Level Conference on Women Empowerment, promoted by the Union for the Mediterranean, as a member of the ESCS – European Economic and Social Council.

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Third High Conference Women for the Mediterranean at UFM (10th- 11th October)

On the 10th and 11th October 2016, AFAEMME took part in the Third Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) High-Level Conference on Women Empowerment held in Palau Reial de Pedralbes in Barcelona.

In the official opening session, Ms. Delphine Borione, the Senior Deputy Secretary General of the UfM, stressed the importance of women participation in the economic dimension, as well as in the decision-making process. It is fundamental, she said, that women are considered as a resource to face the current society challenges: they could play the role of mediators in the elimination of terrorism or be the driving force for integration in the migration crisis.

The other panelists underlined that gender equality is not simply a basic human right or a mere question of justice, but that it is a legal duty, a security issue, as well as a question of ethics, but mostly it is a matter of pragmatism.

Women can definitely contribute to change the world.

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AFAEMME attends SwitchMed Connect 2016 meeting (19 th October)

As member of the SwitchMed International High Level Jury of experts, AFAEMME was invited to take part to the SWITCHMED Connect, an annual gathering of Mediterranean stakeholders with the aim to build synergies, exchange knowledge and scale up eco and social innovations, which was launched for the first time in 19 th October 2015. The need for a more sustainable production and consumption emerged from the various meetings and workshops.

Nowadays, our Mediterranean region must afford a huge pressure from the new emerging threats, like the climate change.

To deal with this issue, we must link environment with economic growth; the implementation of the circular economy is fundamental in this process, in order to cut the production costs, to improve the quality of citizens’ lives and to generate growth for business. During the “Switchers Pecha Kucha” meeting, we had the chance to listen to some impressive stories of eco and social innovations driving the shift to circular economy in the Mediterranean, like the one of Nour Kays, a very inspiring graphic designer who repurposes plastic carrier bags into fashionable accessories.

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Business Model Innovation Seminar promoted by AFAEMME´s Partner ENVISION (13th December)

Maria Helena de Felipe, President of AFAEMME, participated in the Business Make Over Fest on December 13 in Brussels under the project ENVISION, funded by the European Commission, in which AFAEMME is one of the project participants. The seminar started on December 13th, 2016. It has been drawn up for the companies that need a make-over and that are looking to create a new business model. In this seminar, they want to teach the skills and knowledge to start improving companies’ business as they will learn through real-life examples from fellow entrepreneurs and leading experts on business model innovation.

Partnership "She decides, you succeed" at International Women in Business Conference 2016 in Romania (20th October)

“Femei in Afacei”, partner of AFAEMME in the project “She decided, you succeed”, has organized the second edition of the largest business event organized by Women in Business in Romanian in the context of an accelerated globalization and digitalization.

There were invited as speakers Mirella Visser - Managing Director la Centre for Inclusive Leadership, and Caron van Eekelen - Vice President talent & culture – Accor Hotels, that also participated with AFAMME in the project “She decided, you succeed”.

Euro-Mediterranean Women’s Foundation Newsletter (31th November)

The Euro-Mediterranean Women’s Foundation included the conclusions of our successful Project “She Decides, You Succeed” in the November newsletter.


WTO PUBLIC FORUM 2016 "Inclusive Trade" Geneva (27-29th September)

Last 27th September, Geneva host at WTO PUBLIC FORUM 201, the working session «Bringing the benefits of trade to women», co-organized by AFAEMME, Comité Económic & Socia Europeo and OMC FORO PÚBLICO.

During this session, the assumptions that trade is beneficial to women by promoting women entrepreneurship and ensuring decent work for women participating in global supply chains have been analyzed.

The session has been moderated by Jonathan Peel – Member, European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Employers' Group and Business and Trade Consultant and invited speakers were: Asmâa Morine Azzouzi – President, Association des femmes chefs d'entreprises du Maroc (Afem) and Vice President of AFAEMME; Alice Botnarenco - Founder, ALISIA ENCO & Women in Business Romania; Cinzia del Rio – Member, European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Workers' Group and Director, International Department of UIL (Unione Italiana del Lavoro – Italian Labour Union). Also they have argued that “the difficulties women encounter in setting up businesses and acquire knowledge for participating in international trade, the added value of networks, associations and platforms at national and regional level; the role of governments and civil society in implementing trade agreements strengthening ; the role of women in international trade through, the role of trade agreements in promoting decent work for women involve; the role of cooperation among social partners for promoting gender-sensitive, the role supply chain management in sectors with high female employment rate”.

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AFAEMME participated in “The Mediterranean Week of Economic Leader” (30th November-2nd December)

AFAEMME participated in the "Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders" in Barcelona (30th November - 2nd of December). Our president Maria Helena de Felipe Lehtonen gave her contribution in occasion of the 1st Mediterranean Startup & Entrepreneurs Forum on “How to boost the entrepreneur role of women in the Meda countries”.

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The 3rd Annual Women for Success- "Leveraging Women Networks to Excel" Conference (18th- 23th February 2017)

AFAEMME is pleased to announce an upcoming event organized by the association of Business Women of Egypt 21, the new AFAEMME’s member candidate.

The association of Business Women of Egypt 21 invite you to attend its annual International Business Conference "Women for Success", under the theme of “Leveraging Women Networks to Excel”.

The event will be held from 18th – 23nd February 2017.

They have chosen this date to have to possibility to experience the unique phenomena of the Sun Festival - “Sun to illuminate Inner Sanctuary of Pharaoh’s Temple”.

The opening ceremony will be hosted by the Arab League and then followed by a four-day workshop on board a cruise Aswan-Abu Simbel on M/S Steigenberger Omar El Khayam.

You will have the chance to develop business collaboration opportunities both local and international.

Conference main themes:

  • 1- Generating business opportunities for SMEs
  • 2- Global Challenges: Technology, Diversification, Human Capital
  • 3- Take your business to the next level – Non-traditional ways to finance, New markets
  • 4- Mentors and mentees – success stories for Women and youth
  • 5- Business sustainability in time of crises

Don’t miss this opportunity and register now at www.bwe21.com.

For more info please contact: afaemme@afaemme.org

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