In Focus: Some government policies, schemes & initiatives for women entrepreneurship in Monaco
#MonacoLeadership #WomenEntrepreneurs #EmpowerHerEconomy #DiversityInBusiness #MonacoInnovation
Monaco, a jewel on the Mediterranean, is witnessing a transformative shift in its entrepreneurial landscape, notably driven by women. Representing 34.8% of business owners, these women are not just breaking barriers, but they are redefining success in this global haven of opulence. Monaco enjoys a high standard of living and low unemployment.
The World Economic Forum’s leaders emphasized the importance of women’s leadership in the business scene and in the global economy; and the Forum called on countries to invest in ‘the most important determinant of a country’s competitiveness: its human talent – the skills, education and productivity of its workforce’.
As per the latest report by IMSEE, nearly a third of Monaco’s 13,000 leaders and decision-makers are women, marking a steady rise in gender inclusivity. Monaco’s commitment to diversity is not just symbolic but a strategic move towards ensuring a thriving, inclusive economy.
Going beyond numbers
Going beyond statistics, Monaco’s women entrepreneurs embody innovation and resilience. From startups to industry stalwarts – their stories are reshaping Monaco’s economic narrative and inspiring a new era of leadership.
Here are some government policies, schemes and initiatives for Women entrepreneurship in Monaco.
> Monaco Boost
The purpose of Monaco Boost is – to give a fresh boost to the creation & development of new businesses established by entrepreneurs of Monegasque nationality or spouse of a Monegasque national. Monaco Boost is the new business incubator launched by the Prince’s Government in consultation with the National Council.
In November 2023, The Monaco Boost business incubator signed a new partnership with the Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Monaco (AFCEM); and this agreement provides a one-year free AFCEM membership for 5 women entrepreneurs of Monegasque nationality who are professionally registered with Monaco Boost.
Following on from the partnerships already established with the Monaco Economic Board and the Junior Chamber International, this new agreement will enable Monegasque women entrepreneurs to expand their network via networking events and join a community of active, passionate & ambitious women.
> Tripartite declaration by Monaco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) & the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM)
Monaco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, the Union for the mediterranean and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) support women job creators in Tunisia. Exploring the idea to join forces to support women entrepreneurs in Tunisia – a tripartite declaration was recently signed by Monaco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM). “Promoting female empowerment for inclusive and sustainable industrial development in Tunisia” is the aim of the initiative which seeks to contribute to the overall effort to facilitate access to financing, markets, technology and business networks for micro, small and medium-sized companies run by women.
This pilot project in Tunisia supports women entrepreneurs who are investing in the market for health and beauty products using natural ingredients; and technical assistance, training and study trips are being organized too. This is a promising sector that has seen growing demand over the last decade and Tunisia has some significant advantages: easily available ingredients, organic crops and an organic certification scheme that has been approved by the European Union and Switzerland, to name just a few.
This project also shines a spotlight on companies, including start-ups, created by qualified young women in areas as diverse as biology, industrial chemistry and pharmacy. Their experience is helping to gradually transform a sector where the female workforce is still too often confined to low-skilled roles.
Monaco and Tunisia: a long-standing commitment
The Principality of Monaco and the Republic of Tunisia have both signed up to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Keen to align their bilateral cooperation strategy with this international agenda, Monaco & Tunisia have signed a framework agreement that prioritizes activity with a social, economic and human focus.
Through its Department of International Cooperation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation has maintained a strong relationship with Tunisia since the early 1990s. With the most vulnerable groups representing its core target, Monaco’s Official Development Assistance will be following with interest this fantastic company in a country where the employment rate for women is 26.5%.
> Policy support for entrepreneurs
Supporting Monaco’s growth by promoting business development is visible today. At the request of H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince, the Monegasque Government has taken many measures – to support investors seeking to set up a business in the Principality. Support is available throughout the administrative process, responding to the expectations and ambitions of investors within timeframes, which in tune with today’s economic realities.
It is against this background that the Government is working to provide Monegasques, residents and future residents with an environment which is favourable to entrepreneurs. To this end, the Business Development Agency has reviewed its forms and the procedure for setting up a business, in order to reduce the time it takes and to simplify procedures for entrepreneurs.
In addition, a service dedicated to welcoming those leading projects has been created. The ‘Welcome Office’ is the gateway for anyone who is considering setting up in the Principality, whether in a private or professional capacity, helping them to gain access to the privileged circle of Monaco residents and businesses.
> Monaco Welcome and Business office (MWBO)
The economic activity within Monaco, including commercial, handicraft & industrial activity, is strictly monitored by the government. A body called Espace Entreprises Monaco Business Office helps new investors. The Monaco Welcome and Business office (MWBO) assists individuals and entrepreneurs in relocating to the Principality of Monaco.
In the financial sector, creation of any financial organization is subject to the approval of both the French CECEI (Committee for Credit and Investment Institutions) in Paris and of Monegasque financial supervisory authorities.
Looking at the economy, Monaco’s GDP for 2021 was $7.77 billion (€7.27 billion), compared to $6.71 billion (€5.97 billion) in 2020, a 21.6 percent increase in real terms. Resuming its pre-Covid growth, Monaco’s GDP reached an all-time high in 2021 since the Principality begun calculating its GDP in 2005. (Source: IMSEE – Monaco GDP Reports / Publications / IMSEE – Monaco IMSEE (monacostatistics.mc) ).
The two sectors driving the country’s economy were scientific & technical activities and administrative & support services (21.2 percent); and financial & insurance activities (16.1 percent), that accounted for over a third of the country’s GDP in 2021. Combined with the sectors of wholesale trade (10 percent) and construction (9.1 percent), these four leading sectors contributed to more than half of the country’s GDP.
> Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Monaco
This has an unusual background. The Principality of Monaco, proud of its remarkable female entrepreneurship, could not but join this formidable initiative and become a member of the World Association of Women Entrepreneurs. This desire actually gave birth to a fully-fledged entity – the “Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Monaco”. This association brings together different personalities with atypical backgrounds and real expertise in their respective fields. Women who are involved in Monegasque economic life and who clearly show their desire to participate in the general development of the Principality.
The objective of “Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Monaco”
The purpose of the association is as follows:
– To study and defend the general rights and interests of women entrepreneurs and business in general
– To Inform women entrepreneurs of the functions that are or will be open to them in order to encourage and support applications for positions in professional bodies and all State bodies dealing with economic issues
– To inform and document the members of the association on all matters concerning the company.
– To animate the network of women entrepreneurs in the Principality of Monaco and to promote women’s entrepreneurship within professional and economic bodies in the Principality and abroad.
The principle of supporting women entrepreneurs is clearly revealed by The Association of Women Business Owners in Monaco. Educate, participate, share, help…these are the four defining pillars of the Monégasque branch of the Association of Women Business Owners (AFCEM).
After its inauguration 70 years ago, this global association is now made up of 120 countries and five million businesses across five continents. In 2004, the Monégasque branch was established and added to this network.
In Monaco, female business owners contribute so much to the growth of the economy. AFCEM aims to give visibility to its members and to create a network between them. Today, women lead a wide variety of businesses – like cosmetics companies, banks, jewellers or restaurants.
SheCanHeCan is a Monaco-based organization that aims to inspire and support girls to take leadership roles – to challenge deeply-held, life-limiting gender stereotypes and to realise their full potential, independent of their gender.
SheCanHeCan also works to recognize the achievements and contributions of great female leaders.
SheCanHeCan is committed to deconstructing the gender binary by showing children, teens and adults that their bodies, their gender, their race, and their sexuality does not have codetermine what they want to achieve both personally and professionally.