Women Powering Work: Innovations for Economic Equality in the MENA Region

GE and Ashoka Changemakers are seeking your innovative solutions that will advance economic opportunities for women in MENA, strengthen their families and communities, and enable them to benefit equitably from economic growth.

Three winners of Women Powering Work: Innovations for Economic Equality in the MENA Region will each receive US $25,000 in unrestricted funding to support their innovations. Enter before the early entry deadline (October 2, 2013) to be eligible to win one of two additional cash prizes of US $1,000. The entry period closes on November 6, 2013.

Please read our Welcome Letter to learn more about our search, and visit the Guidelines, Criteria & Prizes page for more information on how to enter.

Connect with us on Facebook and track #womenWork and @changemakers on Twitter for the latest news about the competition.

For questions, email lmarino@changemakers.com.


Three prizes, each totalling US $25,000 in unrestricted funding to support your innovation.

Early entry prizes, one of two US $1,000 prizes.


Winner is Announced

January 15, 2014
  • Launch
    August 21, 2013
  • Early Entry Deadline
    October 2, 2013
  • Entry Deadline
    November 6, 2013
  • Finalists are Announced
    December 4, 2013
  • Winner is Announced
    January 15, 2014


Total value:
77 000

Three prizes, each totalling US $25,000 in unrestricted funding to support your innovation.

Early entry prizes, one of two US $1,000 prizes.

Competition entries

Title Contributor Location
Busanti Seher Hafeez Pakistan
doctHERS-in-the-House Dr Sara Khurram Pakistan
Women @ Work Sanober Keijzer Pakistan
Economic Empowerment Through livelihood Trainings Sabiha Shah Karachi, Pakistan
Will project- Women's Business Incubator in occupied Palestinian Territory fida abu turky Hebron, Jordan
Mustaqbali Hanan AlSaif Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Shaal Hadeel M. Yusef Egypt
Be-Girl Jordan: Sanitary Pad Commercial Pilot with Sakhran Women Society Cooperative Diana Sierra Jordan
Product Development Hub Samina Fazil Islamabad, Pakistan
Aqua Zai : "Solving Global Hunger from A to Z" Princella Smith Little Rock, Egypt
Women Entrepreneur Role Models in the Middle East Nina Curley Beirut, Saudi Arabia
Female Community Ride Share Samira Negm Cairo,
Sindhi Crafts Raghav Chawla Karachi, Pakistan
EnergyTech Rumaisah M. Islamabad, Pakistan
'Every Right' - Libyan Women in the Private Sector 3 Tripoli, Libya
Women Economic Empowerment and Gender Equality Promotion Eman Madghah Sana'a, Yemen
Inculcate Egyptian Folk Painting in design by women Amrita Mishra Ranchi, Egypt
Women's Angel Investment Network (WAIN) Heather Henyon Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Mentoring Afghan women from subsistence to business success Agnes Svensson Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan
www.ladiezcorner.com Rasha Ali
GCON - Women Game Developers and Gamers Community Tasneem salim Not Listed, Saudi Arabia
The Platform's Youth Initiative (YI) Joshua Rajkumar Dubai, United Arab Emirates
ToffeeTV - Songs, Stories & Activities for Children in Urdu! talea zafar
hala elhabashi Hala Elhabashi Egypt
TOTO Express Rebecca Hui Berkeley, Pakistan
A Million Plans for Humanity Mikko Perälä Oulu, Morocco
Building Capacities of Women In the AIDS Response Talal Maarouf Alexandria, Egypt
DKT Pakistan Carin Postal Karachi, Pakistan
CLIP: Cultural Legacy and Influence Program Abdulrahman Sajid Doha, Qatar
Arabproz.com, outsourcing and freelancing marketplace Omair Eladawy Hawalli, Kuwait
Gender equality in science and technology Mohamed Elzek Alexandria, Egypt
صناعة وسائل تعليمية hayat alnatsheh Hebron, Palestinian Territory
Enabling access to markets for Low-Income Women Zainab Saeed Lahore, Faisalabad and Gujranwala , Pakistan
Connect Life Giuseppina Bomba Bornova, Turkey
StreetMeetME Sherry Colbourne Muscat, Oman
BADAWEYA Women's Handicraft Initiative Anja Breddin Nuweiba and surrounding, Egypt
Valorisation des noyaux des dattes Fatima zahra HNAINA Casablanca, Morocco
Female Prisoners Nawal Mostafa Cairo, Egypt
تدوير مخلفات مصانع الغزل والنسيج ( فيدو) Hala Mahmoud إسكندرية, Egypt
Women’s Integrated Food Processing Unit alexandria Busi... alexandria, Egypt
SILLA (LIFE PAYS OFF) Maryam Bibi Peshawar, Pakistan
الادراك المبكر والفرص المبكرة من أجل المستقبل Amira Alaama Damanhour , Egypt
Give For Granted: Help Keep our TRUE NORTH, STRONG & FREE! Jenna Davis Oakville, Canada
Nabbesh's www Initiative: Work that Works for Women Loulou Khazen Baz Dubai, United Arab Emirates
preparation des repas spécialement pour les écoliers et établissements scolaires chahinez ghellab Algeria
Khadija Program- Technology for Development Safa Abdulkaree... Sana'a, Yemen
Women Powering Work: Innovations for Economic Equality in MENA Amit Gupta Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Woman to Woman Dana Shuqom all, Jordan
ecoMENINX Anis Dhamna Djerba, Tunisia




Omayma was paying for a crime she didn’t commit.

After taking out a loan to finance her sister’s trousseax, her father convinced Omayma to sign as a guarantor claiming it was “just a formality.” When he passed away, Omayma was left responsible to pay the price.

Unable to pay back her father’s E£ 7000 (about $1,140), Omayma was sentenced to three years in prison. “He has always been lucky,” Omayma said. “He died and left me the bill to pay – it cost me my freedom and my children too.

As luck would have it, Omayma would soon become journalist Nawal Mostafa’s first success story.

Mar 21, 14


According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, only 14.3% of women in the country participate in the labor force. Lack of social and financial support and restrictions imposed on access and mobility serve as major obstacles for women who want to pursue fulfilling careers. In this landscape, Sabiha Ghani has been a game changer who has redefined the economic space for women in her community. She has fostered initiative and independence by founding the Women Development Foundation Pakistan (WDFP) which supports hundreds of women in starting their own business ventures.

Mar 03, 14

“Women are not making it to the top of any profession anywhere in the world – the numbers tell the story quite clearly,” says Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in her 2010 TEDx Talk. Sandberg’s advice to women in her New York Times bestseller, “Lean In,” is relevant across the globe: less than half of working-age women worldwide are employed, they are paid less on average than men for the same work, and the chances of rising to the top of a Fortune 500 company are not in a woman’s favor.

Feb 24, 14