The Arabic word Ouissal means “bridge” or “connection”, reflecting the objective of the German-Arab Mentoring Program: connecting female entrepreneurs in the context of common learning processes and intercultural exchange.
Initiated by the Euro-Mediterranean-Arab Association (EMA e.V.) and sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Ouissal is dedicated to supporting the socioeconomic participation of women in their home countries.
The program selects a total of 40 German, Tunisian and Moroccan female entrepreneurs who work together in tandems on the business plan or on the business development strategies of the mentee - the experienced mentor sharing her knowledge and expertise with the mentee. Furthermore, Ouissal participants get the chance to take part in the German-Arab Women Forum, which gives them access to the German-Arab Women’s Network – an outstanding platform for connecting with other femal entrepreneurs and numerous partner organizations.
By joining the program, mentees have the opportunity to benefit from the support of an experienced female entrepreneur and learn from her expertise over a whole year in an intercultural context. They will get to meet like-minded women and joing the broad German-Arab Women's Network.
By joining the program, these experienced mentors can seize the opportunity to support, during one whole year, young female entrepreneurs throughout their company's development process by working with them on their business plan or on specific aspects of their business strategies. At the same time, they will get to know other experienced and competent female mentors from different backgrounds and explore cultural and entrepreneurial particularities. With other mentors and mentees of the program, they will become part of the unique German-Arab Women's Network.
The one-year mentoring program begins with a kick-off meeting which takes place between the 8th and the 13th of December 2019 in Tunisia, or the 19th to the 24th of January 2020 in Morocco (including the time for arrival and departure).
The kick-off meeting marks the beginning of the mentoring program. Here the German participants are invited to Tunisia or Morocco to meet with their Arab tandem partners. During a four-day intensive phase, they get to know their mentoring groups better and also introduce themselves in tandems through targeted group work and informal get-togethers. Throughout the workshops, joint goals and milestones for each mentoring pair are set, enriched by the many interactions within the whole group.
Following the kick-off week and until Autumn 2020, the participants engage in tandems in regular, self-defined intervals by means of virtual communication. The guidance the mentor provides the mentee with a wealth of experience and advice, thus supporting her with the implementation of her own plans.
Step-by-step, during the course of the program, Ouissal participants build strong relationships through which they share their individual and common progress, challenges and upcoming project stages.
Through these gatherings, participants in each country get the chance to engage in yet another exchange. Mid-term gatherings tend to be informal get-togethers or reunions which offer an opportunity to refresh participants’ connections with their network, to develop stronger relationships with their local group, and to highlight the successes and aims of their mentoring experiences.
At the end of the virtual mentoring phase, all participants are invited to a large-scale German-Arab Women’s Forum, which takes place in Autumn 2020 in Berlin. The Forum offers them the unique opportunity to make further contacts with other female entrepreneurs in a multicultural setting, present their projects, exchange ideas and to integrate their connection with the German-Arab Women’s network into their achievements.
Throughout the virtual mentoring phase, participants also have the option to take part in webinars which revolve around specific topics of interest in the world of entrepreneurship.
The costs of participating in this program (travel expenses, accommodation and food) are borne by the project.
All applications along with the relevant documents should be submitted latest by September 6th, 2019.