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Investing in Women Business Leaders: Good for Business, Good for Communities – Part II

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By: Cat Hodgson

In October I wrote about the support we were providing to Vital Voices Global Partnership’s fellowship program in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).  Here Samer Altaher, Vital Voices MENA Program Manager talks about the impact having exposure to Euromonitor’s market data had on the participants:

“Thanks to our partnership with Euromonitor, the VV GROW Fellows were able to access the Passport database during the in-person training in Amman, Jordan. The tool added breadth and depth to their market analysis. The Fellows were invited to a roundtable discussion lead by myself and I demonstrated the uses and features of the Passport tool. The Fellows discussed specific issues pertaining to their industries and market research needs, and were given the opportunity to locate relevant information using the tool.

“Aline Kamakian, co-owner and CEO of Mayrig, a leading authentic Armenian restaurant in Dubai, UAE and Beirut, Lebanon, felt the tool improved her ability to discern the true nature of regional culinary trends. “I was able to take a look at consumer trends regarding their dining tastes in the region; it really gave me some practical insight.” said Aline.

“Nada Ghobril, managing partner at Memento, a boutique photography studio from Beirut, Lebanon was very impressed with the type of information that the tool was able to capture. Nada said “The system showed us data for market sizes and consumer spending in my industry. Especially for small businesses, this information is hard to find.”

“Women business leaders from other industries were also impressed by the tool’s efficacy. Nassima Hofra runs and manages Tepro Pack, a plastics manufacturing plant based in Algeria. She oversees her factory’s day-to-day operations. “We saw data regarding the expectations and habits of consumers when it came to the use of plastics in the region” said Nassima. “That information can be very helpful when I think of introducing new product concepts.”

“The tool also encouraged Fellows to practically consider new markets. “There was a good amount of data that helped me understand which markets are spending most on building material; the projections also help as they give me an idea for which markets I might consider targeting,” said Oriana Nasser, the managing director and co-owner of Jerusalem Stone Group, a high-end limestone factory specializing in the production of architectural elements, slabs, tiles and cladding. Her workshop is based in Bethlehem, Palestine.

“The VV GROW Fellowship is a unique, holistic business and leadership training program, and practicality and relevance are among its strongest traits. Euromonitor provides our Fellows with market information that is relevant to their regions and industries, and which can be put to immediate use. By empowering the Fellows with global, strategic intelligence on industries and consumers, the level of competitiveness and growth potential of MENA women entrepreneurs expands.

“Women leaders who contribute to growing economies in challenging times are creating much needed employment opportunities, and stimulating economic growth in their regions. Investing in women will contribute to a growing middle-class in the MENA region; further expand female leadership in businesses; provide women further access to other networks in the region; and propel innovation through competition.”

Vital Voices Fellowes

 

 

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