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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2005 > May
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 2, 2005


Upcoming Business Women's Summit Will Advance Leadership and Entrepreneurial Skills of Arab Women

The Middle East Partnership Initiative will host a three-day forum in Tunis May 24-26, 2005 featuring practical business training for almost 200 women entrepreneurs from 16 countries and territories in the Middle East and North Africa. The attendees are recognized businesswomen and organizational leaders from the region and are graduates of Middle East Partnership Initiative programs, such as the Middle East Entrepreneur Training in the U.S. and Business Internship Program. They demonstrate strong leadership abilities and a desire to expand economic opportunities and spur job growth in their countries. The conference is timely as the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) is becoming a new global market opportunity, and entrepreneurs across the region are pursuing economic reforms as well as business challenges.

Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky will offer the keynote address on the opening day of the conference on the theme of women’s potential to expand their business leadership to other realms, including the advancement of democracy and women’s empowerment. The U.S. delegation also includes Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Patricia Harrison, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Elizabeth Cheney, and Vice Chair, Export-Import Bank, April Foley. American businesswomen will provide training under the auspices of WE, Inc., an American nonprofit business association advocating policy solutions that encourage business ownership by women and that assist entrepreneurs at all stages of their business development.

Women attendees will build peer networks, learn from regional and American experts, and find new venture partners. As business owners and executives, they recognize their leading role in economic reform through business expansion, entry into international trade, and dynamic joint ventures to take advantage of the opportunities offered by reformed economic systems and trade agreements.

The forum organizer is the Beyster Institute at the Rady School, University of California, San Diego, which is implementing the Middle East Entrepreneurship Training in the U.S., also a Middle East Partnership Initiative. More information about the Middle East Partnership Initiative can be found at: www.mepi.state.gov.

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Released on May 2, 2005

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