Economic Empowerment of Kuwaiti Women

What is this project about?

The programme aims at contributing to the economic and social development of Kuwait, with a particular focus on empowerment of Kuwaiti women, by addressing the problem of unemployment among women. Unleashing their entrepreneurial potential, the programme will support the establishment and growth of enterprises, owned/managed by women, thereby providing employment opportunities for self and others. In a wider context, the programme will also support the establishment and growth of small and medium enterprises in general in order to generate additional employment opportunities for the people of Kuwait, including youth and men. In doing so, the programme will develop and strengthen national institutional capacities in order to sustain the programme in the long run.

Expected Outputs

1. Instill and raise awareness about entrepreneurship and its potential contributions to MSME development and economic growth.
2. Develop and strengthen national technical and institutional capacity to run and sustain a holistic package of enterprise development tools and techniques (for enterprise creation and enterprise growth) in 3 Centers.
3. Enhance Kuwaiti women’s capacity to conceive, develop and implement entrepreneurial and income generating activities through implementation of the enterprise creation Programme.
4. Assess the potential of establishing a handicrafts business incubator in one of the Centers.
5. Improve and upgrade the performance of existing enterprises owned/managed by women through the implementation of the enterprise growth programme.

What have we accomplished so far?

  • The project ran a holistic package of enterprise development tools and techniques in order to support Kuwaiti women to reach their individual potential as successful entrepreneurs. The Enterprise Development & Investment Promotion Program of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) was delivered as it aims at assisting potential entrepreneurs transform their ideas into existing businesses through a modality called “Enterprise Creation” and at the same time assist entrepreneurs with existing businesses to grow and expand their businesses (Enterprise growth).

  • The following capacity building programs where conducted:
    • Training of trainers for enterprise creation was held in Kuwait with a total of 17 MOSAL Staff.
    • Business Counselling was held in Bahrain with 4 MOSAL staff. The practical component of the Business Counselling was held in Kuwait with the participation of 6 MOSAL staff and 20 Kuwaiti women entrepreneurs.
  • The first women business incubator in Kuwait and the Gulf region was launched in February 2013 and hosts 38 women. The businesses range from software applications and media to traditional crafts and catering. The Incubator provides the physical infrastructure required to establish a small business and supports the development of the technical skills and expertise the entrepreneurs will need to launch, manage and develop sustainable businesses.
  • A media campaign was conducted which involved a press conference, several TV interviews, and newspaper articles spread awareness about the incubator and gained the attention of various stakeholders.
  • Several specialized trainings and seminars were conducted to develop the required entrepreneurial skills of the women entrepreneurs, ToT and Business Counselling, as well as many other ongoing counselling activities.
  • A dedicated team of trainers and a business councelling unit were created within the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor.  Under the leadership of the steering committee appointed within the Ministry, with UNDP membership, these trainers and business counsellors will continue to drive the project forward and ensure its lasting contribution to promoting women’s participation in the Kuwaiti private sector.
  • The small businesses that are operating in the Al-Salam Incubator reflect the dynamism of the private sector in Kuwait and in particular the individual spirit and personality of the remarkable women participating in the programme.

Who finances this project?

Government of Kuwait

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