10 June 2021

#GenderIDTalks, ALF Marathon for Dialogue in EuroMed: Panel 2 - Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship

On June 8 2021, the second live Panel of the #GenderIDTalks was held on GEYC's facebook page.

It was organised in partnership with Association la Voix de l'Enfant Rural -AVER / صوت الطفل الريفي and ANKA Youth Association in the frame of the Anna Lindh Foundation Virtual Marathon for Dialogue in EuroMed. For information on the upcoming Panels click here.

The Panel was an opportunity to share the challenges & success stories of women in the business sector, the effects of COVID-19, and how to break down gender stereotypes when it comes to this sector.

The Panel gathered stakeholders from Europe and EuroMed Region. The guest speakers were:
  • Khaoula Behi: CEO at Social Innovators Network, innovation expert and researcher working in innovation management across the MENA Region. She is the founder of Future Islands, an innovation lab that develops new and evolving approaches to create innovative solutions for complex problems to enable a sustainable society.
  • Ioana Tatarciuc: Vice President of GEYC Board of Directors, young educator, aspiring social entrepreneur. She is one of the GEYC10 Changemakers
  • Farah Tbaileh: 25 y/o Palestinian freelancer scriptwriter and producer, she worked for 3 years as a producer and TV presenter at An-Najah Broadcasting Channel. Founder of The Wild Blossom
  • Eszter Boros: project coordinator and founder of the Careers in the Common Good Initiative. She is a management accountant with experience in event management, a hobby artist, and a passionate traveler.
  • Dr. Bilge Imer: professor in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Department, Middle East Technical University, one of the founders of the first Nanotechnology Institute in Turkey. She has industrial experience in the energy and defense field.
The speakers talked about the projects they have carried out through their organisations, the successful women who have inspired them and how their being women has influenced their business and work activities.

Between 2015 and 2019 Khaoula has co-founded an NGO in Tunisia, a consultancy firm that manages a crowd-solving platform for the MENA region and a blockchain startup between Germany and Tunisia. These experiences have allowed her to go beyond the constant need of looking for partnership and develop entrepreneurial self-confidence and an evidence-based way of thinking which is necessary to make it in the real world.

Ioana presented inspiring examples of women who have stood out as social entrepreneurs, both in the public and corporate sectors. Some of these were:
  • Angela Achitei, president of Fundația Alături de Voi România;
  • Kathi Scheidereiter, manager of Kaufland;
  • Ancuta Vamesu, Founder & CEO Laboratorul de solidaritate.
Farah highlighted her experience as the founder of a local startup operating in Palestine without much funding behind it. An example of entrepreneurial success that has always reacted strongly to the most difficult challenges, including the Covid pandemic.

Eszter brought her experience as a woman who had the courage to follow her dreams, travelling the world, discovering new places and interacting with new people and learning that there are different meanings of happiness. The key thing at the end of any learning journey is to share your knowledge with the community. This is the meaning and goal of her organisation.

Finally, Bilge emphasised what it means to be a woman in a male-dominated field such as engineering and university academia in science departments. She had the opportunity to be the first woman in the Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Department of the Middle East Technical University and she has been able to carve out her own space and fight gender stereotypes that are still rooted in the dominant culture.

Here are some of the most inspiring quotes of yesterday Panel:

In the field of innovation and social entrepreneurship, GEYC is at the forefront of promoting an entrepreneurial attitude in young workers and providing them with the necessary skills to be attractive in the job market. Special attention is paid to gender inequalities, so that young women have the same entrepreneurial and job opportunities as men.

Two examples of projects implemented by GEYC in this area are:
  • The Project Management Academy organized in the context of the project “Building CSO Capacity for Regional Cooperation within the Black Sea Region addressed to CSO professionals in charge with the implementation of project activities who are seeking to increase the sustainability and organisational resilience of their organizations in difficult times.
  • The DIVERSE Project, funded by Erasmus+ and aimed to promote social inclusion and diversity in multicultural classrooms with an increased number of children from refugee/migrant/ minority backgrounds through the use of creative methods and more specifically, storytelling methods.