Facebook recently launched the #SheMeansBusiness global program to train and inspire women entrepreneurs on using Facebook and Instagram as platforms for their businesses. They are partnering with organizations in the UAE and Egypt to enable opportunities for 10,000 women in the MENA region by 2018. For that purpose, #SheMeansBusiness will run a series of workshops, training sessions and online resources to arm women entrepreneurs with the knowledge, connections, skills and technology required to build and grow their business online.

According to research, if women’s participation in the workforce is increased in the GCC region alone, it would add it would add $180 billion, or 7 percent, to the economy in 2025. [Source]

Women from across the MENA region attended the event, including two Lebanese female entrepreneurs, Sarah Beydoun and Sandra Macaron, whose success stories were highlighted in short videos on Facebook’s #SheMeansBusiness microsite.

Sarah Beydoun dedicated her life to building beauty from hardship. Her 16-year-old business, Sarah’s Bag, began life as a program to help female prisoners learn a craft and a set of skills to assist with their rehabilitation upon release. Sarah’s Bag is now an internationally renowned brand. Watch her video [here].

Sandra Macaroon set up Smac, a democratic design brand for a variety of home accessories and products made of acrylic. Each collection has a story or inspiration behind it, relevant to the Middle East. Watch her video [here].

Sandra Macaron

Other successful Lebanese women entrepreneurs were also mentioned on the page such as Rana El Chemaitelly: Founder of the Little Engineer, Christiane Nasr: Founder of The Bowery Company, Cyba Audi: Founder of Saba Consultants, Salma Imad Jawar: Co-founder and CEO of Play.My.Way and Hala Audi Beydoun: Founder of Cocoa and Co.

You can check out further info [here] and join live on March 8 2017 (International Women’s Day) to watch broadcasts by influential leaders, public figures and NGOs.