Numerous studies have shown that senior entrepreneurship will have significant economic impacts. However, Senior Researchers & Scientific Women entrepreneurs are still an underrepresented target within the Academia, facing gender-specific challenges that prevent them from developing a professional path towards independence and economic sustainability.

After surveying more than 100 Senior Women in Academia in the MENA region, Women In Business identified a solid potential in empowering Senior Researchers & Scientific Women by helping them pursue a journey into entrepreneurship.

Women in Business launched in December 2020 a pilot program in Tunisia in collaboration with CNFCE, TheNextWomenTunisie and BetaCube to create new empowered community of Senior Researchers & Scientific Women entrepreneurs, of 45 years and above. A second round was launched in March 2022 to all 4 MENA partner countries.

With this program, Women In Business aims to challenge a widespread lack of diversity in the MENA regions’s entrepreneurial landscape and bridge the existing gaps by providing Senior Researchers & Scientific Women Entrepreneurs (45+) with the right skills to get involved in entrepreneurship and start their own projects. 

The program includes the following components

  • Access to a community with other peer senior academia female entrepreneurs on Slack.
  • Training and expertise from mentors and from the community: Access to information (data, benchmarks, researches, etc.) and educational tools (methods, best practices, business approaches, etc.), Peer2Peer mentoring model.
  • Reverse mentorship model: Senior entrepreneurs will learn from their younger peers about their attitude towards risk, digital environments they navigate in, entrepreneurial events they attend, type of content they follow on the internet.
  • Incubation Process of 3 months with tailored mentoring and training for entrepreneurs with a Proof of Concept and a first level of market validation. 

Upon completion of the program, the beneficiaries will be provided with the following benefits:

  • Being part of an active community of senior Academia women entrepreneurs and “wanna be” entrepreneurs.
  • Integration of skills usually available with younger digital natives who are immersed in the startup ecosystem and how to apply them for their own entrepreneurial projects.
  • A clear understanding on how Academia seniors can support entrepreneurship in a systematic way beyond starting their own business.
  • Strategies and methods of senior entrepreneurship in a MENA country and a scale up concept to expand to other countries in MENA.
  • Business relations between Senior scientific Start ups & Industrial companies