Supporting women entrepreneurship in the agro-food sector: InnovAgroWoMed project is ready to be officially launched… on line!

Photo © UNDP Lebanon – LHSP

Current levels of post-crisis unemployment and socio-economic exclusion pose common challenges on the two shores of the Mediterranean. Both MENA and Southern European Countries display a common trend in terms of low women empowerment and participation to the labour force. 

While countries such as Spain and Italy feature comparatively high levels of growth in agri-food, albeit with very low levels of women participation, the MENA agricultural business is still fragmented, and women's employment is the lowest in the world. This is caused by economic and social reasons, as growth in this sector has not been inclusive mostly because of unequal opportunities and skills mismatch.

The Rural Social Innovation model redefines the boundaries between organizations and the community, addressing broader societal challenges by seeking economic, social, and environmental sustainability; balancing tradition and innovation, and explicitly seeking community development at the local level.

The InnovAgroWoMed implementing partners, University of Rome Tor Vergata (UTV) (Beneficiary), CESIE, Jóvenes hacia la solidaridad y el desarrollo (Jovesolides), the Palestinian Business Women Association (Asala), and Center of Arab Women for Training and Research (CAWTAR) will join their forces to boost women labour participation and entrepreneurship, especially for those in the NEET segment, by leveraging on the potential of the agri-food sector-an industry closely resonating with the cultural identity of the Mediterranean Basin, and showing a significant level of untapped potential in terms of innovation and growth in the Mediterranean.

InnovAgroWoMed expects to train 140 women in marketable skills in the agrifood sector and to define four job profiles according to the needs of the agri-food sector. It aims to implement four coaching and mentoring programs and to provide four internship programs for women on rural social innovation.

With a total budget of EUR 2.8 million, InnovAgroWoMed is a three-year project funded at 87% by the European Union through the ENI CBC Med Programme. 

InnovAgroWoMed will be officially launched in an international socio-economic context marked by the COVID-19 outbreak, will also offer special support to Mediterranean women entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector who have been affected by the crisis.

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