Archived Webinar

Empowering Women Economically Through MSMEs and Entrepreneurship in Fragile, Conflict and Violence Contexts

"In fragile and conflict affected contexts, empowering women through Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) not only improves the socio-economic conditions of women but also contributes to restore national economy and provides employment opportunities, thereby contributing to greater social inclusion."

Besides improving life quality for women entrepreneurs and their households, MSMEs contribute to social change by providing a more positive image of women private entrepreneurship. It is crucial to support the MSMEs in both urban and rural settings in fragile countries to overcome difficulties resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Critical support includes establishing new and enhancing existing MSMEs with financial or capacity development.

The session (i) explores challenges and opportunities of women-led MSMEs and entrepreneurship to build resilience in FCV contexts  amid COVID-19; (ii) assesses and evaluate the effect of the current economic and financial programs targeting women in FCV contexts; (iii) highlights innovative and transformative experiences and best practices of what works and what does not work in this area; (iv) shares the success stories in the women empowerment programs through MSMEs, (v) identifies solutions filling the finance gap in women-led MSMEs, particularly to reverse the negative impacts of COVID-19; and (vi) discusses how the multilateral development banks and their partners can adequately support the MSMEs in their pandemic response strategies to include new and enhance existing MSMEs with financial or capacity development.

This session is part of the Fragility Forum 2020 Virtual Series.

About the Presenters

Amadou Thierno Diallo

Acting Director General of Global Practices and Director of the Economic and Social Infrastructure Department, Islamic Development Bank, (IsDB)

Amadou Thierno Diallo is the Acting Director General of Global Practices, and Director of the Economic and Social Infrastructure Department at the IsDB (@isdb_group), where he has been employed since 2011.  He supervises the Bank's activities to support the socio-economic development efforts of its 57-member countries through the identification and prioritization of investment projects and programs as well as the development and implementation of policies, strategies. Previously, he was also the Acting Director of the Agriculture and Rural Development Department and Director of the Office of the Vice President Operations at the IsDB. Before joining the IsDB, he held several positions at the African Development Bank including as Resident Representative Mali and as a Manager of the Energy and ICT sectors. He also has 10 years’ experience in the mining sector in Guinea as well as in the private sector in the US. He holds a B.S. in Mining Engineering from Polytechnic Institute of Conakry, Guinea, an MS in Mineral Economics from Montana Tech, the University of Montana, an MBA in Finance, and a Master’s in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh. He is bestowed by the President of Mali with the Officer of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Mali for services rendered for the development of the country.

Abdimajid Abdullahi

Manager, Human Development Division, Islamic Development Bank (IsDB)

Abdimajid Abdullahi joined the IsDB (@isdb_group) Islamic Development Bank at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 2007. As a Manager of the Human Development Division, Mr. Abdullahi is currently overseeing fragility, disaster risks management, resilience and civil society engagement in 57 IsDB Member Countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Europe. Prior to joining IsDB, he worked with governments and international development institutions including NGOs as a senior development program manager. Mr. Abdullahi led strategic partnership initiatives mobilizing resources that have contributed to the emergency response, humanitarian and social development programs for communities affected by poverty, humanmade and natural calamities. Mr. Abdullahi holds MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London and MA in Education and International Development from the Institute of Education of University College London. 

Yannick Du Pont


Yannick Du Pont is the founder and director of SPARK (@SPARKorg). Mr. Du Pont worked for the Netherlands Minister of Development Cooperation from 1996 to 1997. Later he worked with the Dutch PAX abd Development Think Evert Vermeer Foundation. Mr. Du Pont  was a researcher for the Netherlands Institute of International Relations “Klingender” and taught at the University of Amsterdam. SPARK supports growth-oriented SMEs and facilitate youth job creation in 17 fragile States in primarily Africa and the Middle East. Mr. Du Pont  also serves on the Board of the Max van der Stoel Foundation and the LittleBitz Foundation.

Jessica Schnabel

Global Head, Banking on Women, IFC

Jessica Schnabel is the Global Head of the Banking on Women business at IFC (@IFC_org), where she is responsible for developing IFC's global investment portfolio in financial institutions in emerging markets, in order to increase access to quality financial services for women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises. Prior to her work at IFC, Ms. Schnabel managed global training programs for a USAID contractor in Washington, DC, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guinea from 1995 to 1998. Ms. Schnabel has also guest lectured on enterprise development in emerging markets at Iowa State University, Georgetown University and the New York City Bar Association’s working group on African affairs. Ms. Schnabel is a graduate of johns Hopkins’ Paul h. Nitze school of advanced international studies (sais), where she received an MA in international relations, and Indiana university, where she received a BA.

Kristonia Lockhart

Lead Gender Specialist, Global Practice, Islamic Development Bank (IsDB)

Kristonia Lockhart is the Lead Gender Specialist at the IsDB (@isdb_group) headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Ms. Lockhart led the development of the IsDB Women’s Empowerment Policy and is responsible for overseeing its implementation. She manages the Bank’s Business Resilience Assistance for Value-Adding Enterprises (“BRAVE WOMEN Program”) funded under the Women’s Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi).  Prior to joining the IsDB in 2008 she worked for several non-governmental organizations implementing social and economic programs in sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia after completing her MSc in International Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Dania Ismail

Co-Founder of Jusoor / Director of Entrepreneurship Program, Jusoor

Dania Ismail is the Co-founder of Jusoor, an NGO created to harness the potential of Syria’s youth through Education, Career Development, Entrepreneurship and Community Engagement. Ms. Ismail is the Founder and Director of the Jusoor Entrepreneurship Program (@JusoorSY). Ms. Ismail is currently the Director of Strategy at Telfaz11, one of the most influential and creative digital media companies in the region. Previously, she also served as Strategy and Business Development Manager for nine years with MBC Group, the largest Broadcast/Media company in the Middle East, where she launched MBC Ventures, the corporate venture capital fund for MBC Group and managed the fund’s investments and portfolio companies. Ms. Ismail also founded Third Eye Agency, a music events production and consulting agency based in Dubai. She holds an M.A. in Media and Communications from Goldsmiths College in London. Ms. Ismail works closely with startups across the region as an investment adviser and supports several entrepreneurship programs, competitions, and workshops.

Target Audience

Practitioners and general public

Questions Submitted


- Nov 17, 2022
good topic

jose luis

- Jul 28, 2022
muy bueno

Mahaman Mourtala

- Nov 3, 2021


- May 30, 2021


- Mar 14, 2021


- Jan 12, 2021

Joy Mildred Adhiambo

- Sep 1, 2020
Empowering Women Economically Through MSMEs and Entrepreneurship in Fragile, Conflict and Violence Contexts
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