Organized by Rana Dajani moderated by Jackie Maalouf
The main topic of the sessions is how to redefine social entrepreneurship in the Region. Highlight the role of Women in the SE sector and how Covid-19 has open doors to see things with a different light.
Content of the session:
Panel discussion on Social entrepreneurship in MENA
There are many activities and initiatives across the MENA region that can be identified as social entrepreneurs (SE) especially since COVID19 but even before because of the wars, refugee displacements etc. However, when one asks at the level of the community few people identify themselves as SEs.
We proposed in this panel to understand why don’t people identify as SEs though their actions speak as such. Is it a matter of definitions or personal and community perceptions? Is this related to culture and/or context? How can this issue be addressed moving forward?
We also want to explore how does a SE path proceeds from idea to entity. What are the different possibilities/paths? We heard from MENA SE themselves and what are the challenges they face such as policies, funding etc within the MENA region.
The panel discussed how SE is perceived in different contexts from individual action to organizations. It was discussed that SE is innate and part of the Arab and human culture to identify problems and solve them.
However, their stories need to be told in their own words emphasizing the importance of storytelling and local role models.
The challenges faced by SEs are capacity building, funding mechanisms for SEs to thrive. More importantly the role of government is important not only to support SEs but to include SEs in the decision making within governments to help governments solve their problems. Seeing SEs as assets.