EBRD Gender & Economic Inclusion Director, Barbara Rambousek, participates in Financial Times event on Middle East & North Africa business financing


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EBRDs Barbara Rambousek participates in FT business event

EBRD's Barbara Rambousek participates in FT business event

 October 07, 2020

EBRD Director for Gender and Economic Inclusion Barbara Rambousek joined Financial Times's Digital Dialogues to discuss how the financing of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) is changing and the role that government, industry and society can play in enabling success.

Discussing the transformation of SMB commerce

Barbara is EBRD’s Director for Gender and Economic Inclusion. She leads its work on gender equality and economic inclusion that creates access to economic opportunity for women, youth and refugees through private sector investments and policy dialogue.

She joined a number of authorative speakers including Marcello Baricordi, General Manager for Middle East and North Africa (MENA) at Visa; Barney Jopson, Executive News Editor at Financial Times; Ibrahim Bin Hamad Al Rashid, Executive Director at the Social Development Bank, Saudi Arabia; and Natalia Sycheva, Entrepreneurship Head at Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

They discussed the disruption and subsequent transformation of commerce amongst small and medium-sized businesses operating in the Middle East and North Africa as they adopt new digital tools and resources to fundamentally change how they connect with customers.

A range of important topics were addressed

Key talking points included:

  • How is consumer and merchant behaviour changing across the Middle East and North Africa? 
  • How are digital tools and resources evolving to enable faster and more secure ecommerce? 
  • What are some of the challenges around cybersecurity and data privacy for consumers? 
  • How are approaches to the safety and security of employees evolving? 
  • What opportunities exist for SMBs to digitally transform in a physical environment? 
  • What else could SNBs and the rise of digital commerce in MENA countries?

EBRD's mentoring and support for women 

EBRD Barbara

Barbara discussed a range of aspects including how the EBRD provides a comprehensive package of important mentoring services and support for women entrepreneurs, in addition to a wide range of digital resources.

She also spoke about issues impacting women in business such as their having suitable access to technology, their appetite for risk, and ensuring adequate access to finance.


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