International Women’s Day: Invest in Women

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘Invest in women: Accelerate progress’. Since SPARK’s inception three decades ago, we have supported over 40,000 women into education, internships, jobs and entrepreneurship. 

Investing not only in women but in women-led local partner organisations enables SPARK to accelerate women’s participation and impact within entrepreneurial ecosystems across fragile and conflict-affected regions. 


In conversation with: Audrey, Founder of MARK IT, Burundi

Audrey Pascal, the filmmaker and Founder of MARK IT in Burundi, has been working with SPARK’s communications department to produce a series of films. Working with local partners in every country is essential to ensuring SPARK’s programmes address specific economic needs of youth, women and refugees. This ethos is also evident in the way SPARK communicates. In conversation with Audrey, we explore why locally-led communication is essential and what entrepreneurship means to her.

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Impact study shows positive impact among women

A recent impact assessment of SPARK’s LEAD2 programme in Tunisia and Somalia/Somaliland found that our economic interventions are particularly effective at creating employment opportunities and boosting entrepreneurship among women. Participants of the programme showed a positive increase of 16% in business ownership, compared to non-participants.

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Ceasefire now: Dsproportionate impact of Gaza war on women

Around 70% of civilian fatalities in Gaza have been women and children and over 3000 women are estimated to have become widows and heads of households. International Women’s Day this year serves as a reminder that the burden of this conflict lies with women.

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Women-led hydroponic farm tackling water scarcity and food insecurity

Water conservation and food security. Shaymaa Mansour from Al-Karak in Jordan confronts the desert region’s water scarcity with her business, Healthy Farms, which uses hydroponic technology and employs women.

Meet Sahyamaa

Bridging the gender gap in the tech industry

Shifaa’s childhood fascination with computers led her to pursue a career in the tech industry. Despite only 23% of the digital workforce in Lebanon consisting of women, participating in SE Factory’s web developer boot camp, as part of SPARK’s STEP programme, she has now secured a full-time role in tech.

Meet Shifaa

Supporting 'blue' entrepreneurs incubator in Tunisia

Osswa Dridi from Coworking Business Center, the pioneering business centre in the coastal city of Bizerte, Tunisia, that is supporting ‘blue’ entrepreneurs. The centre helps to unlock the vast maritime potential of Bizerte and the northern regions of Tunisia. SPARK and its partner, Flat6Labs, have extended crucial capacity-building support to the Coworking Business Center so it can become a catalyst for maritime innovation and economic growth.

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