Libya Economic Empowerment
Libya’s economy is primarily structured around its energy sector, which produces petroleum, natural gas and gypsum. This substantial revenue for a small population gives Libya one of the highest per capita GDPs (gross domestic product) in Africa.
Because business support networks for entrepreneurs, especially women and youth, are weak. As a result, promising entrepreneurs in need of mentoring, access to finance and improved general business knowledge struggle to turn their good ideas into a reality.
At a time when the local economy is increasingly fragile, this means women and youth face difficulties to develop job-creating businesses. Facing increased barriers to access financial services and market systems, they need new opportunities to make a better livelihood for themselves and their families.
Developed in partnership between USAID and MEDA since 2012, the Libya Women Economic Empowerment (LWEE) project was designed specifically to release the unrecognized economic potential of women’s entrepreneurship and contribute to Libya’s economic growth and political stability.
The project sought to identify those obstacles that are unique to women’s full participation in Libya’s formal economy and provide innovation solution to those obstacles.
The creation of business networks and mentorship can build trust within a community and reduce instability.
The result of empowering mothers and other women leaders with business skills is to actually enhance social aspiration for diverse economic opportunities for the next generation of girls and boys.
Due to the success of LWEE, the project was extended in late 2017 for two years and was expanded to include women and youth, and is now called Libya Economic Empowerment project.