Photograph — cairowestmag

It appears to be a boon right now, what women are doing collectively across sectors which are wildly unconnected. First, we had the cloud accelerator program for women in tech, sponsored by Microsoft. Then came the women farmers online network, thanks to AWAN. Now, the creative industry marks the register with “Creative Entrepreneurship Circle,” an initiative that seeks to combine art and business and empower women working in the creative industry in Egypt.

Entreprenelle, a social enterprise that drives women’s empowerment and entrepreneurial literacy, is coordinating with More Of, an organization that teaches women to monetize their passion, to make this event happen on June 19, at Entreprenelle’s headquarters in Cairo. The event, which is the first of its kind, will involve panels discussing career planning for artistic entrepreneurs, as well delivering information on how to navigate the creative industries as a “networked” female creator.

Co-founder of More Of, Sara Seif said, “We decided to carry out such an event because we realized that there are so many creatives out there on their own, with no grounded community to hold them together for sharing expertise, knowledge and the know-how. The aim is to create a creative network in Egypt and all creative people in one circle to build on each other’s achievements and push the creative industry forward.”

Entreprenelle plans and organizes SHE CAN annually, a gathering of successful and aspiring female entrepreneurs in one  “One of the biggest issues that cause a gap in the entrepreneurship field is that women are unaware of the available resources in the market, that’s why Entreprenelle acts as the link connecting women to all available resources in one place,” Entreprenelle founder, 27-year old Rania Ayman said last year in the buildup to SHE CAN 2018,

Networking is a crucial skill for any entrepreneur. But it is difficult to cultivate when you’re a creator, or female, or both, living in Egypt. There’s no sugarcoating it: the Egyptian society foists certain expectations and limitations on the female ceiling, with very little agency allowed women, not to talk of being expressive artistically. This is what makes this kind of open network both gallant and exciting, and hopefully, something thousands of Egyptian female creators can flock to.

Meanwhile, Egypt has called on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to organize a “ministerial roundtable on empowering women in member states.” Just another one of those low-impact forums where the talking is done. As for the doing, Egyptian women will look to the Creative Entrepreneurship Circle.

By Celeb Ajinomoh

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