Gender and Youth Unit

As part of USAID SEED’s continuing effort to support MSMEs’ growth and promote entrepreneurship for women and youth, the Gender and Youth Unit works toward closing the gender gaps, promoting women’s empowerment, and supporting inclusive opportunities for all to pursue entrepreneurship and business ownership. The Gender and Youth Unit aims to increase awareness of the needs of women and young entrepreneurs and enhance the efficiency of service providers for an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The Unit focuses on an array of interventions such as providing technical assistance to women-focused organizations, and building their capacities to enhance their services including the National Council for Women, the Federation of Egyptian Industries Women in Business Unit, the Alexandria Businesswomen Association, and the Business Women Of Egypt 21 Organization. Moreover, it has been exerting efforts to create a women-focused BDS for the handicrafts sector, as well as promote financial inclusion for women and youth through different gender-sensitive products.

The Gender and Youth Unit has also formulated the first network for women entrepreneurs, The Women Entrepreneurs Network (WEN), to support aspiring and established women entrepreneurs, and increase their access to several entrepreneurial services. WEN will allow women entrepreneurs to grow their business and create employment opportunities, as well as allow the network’s members to educate and learn from each other’s experiences, coordinate the scattered efforts, and promote a healthier, more supportive ecosystem.

The Gender and Youth Unit works to ensure that gender is mainstreamed throughout SEED’s different activities by providing capacity building and technical assistance to SEED staff, as well as coordinating different initiatives that are gender-sensitive among the different components.


  • We reached out to 7339 women (53% of all SEED beneficiaries) through training and entrepreneurship events; 20 of these women established new businesses and 3915 were able to access finance.

The Team

Nashwa Habib, Gender &Youth Senior Advisor

Nashwa is an experienced development Specialist and social services professional with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit organization management industry. She is Skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Humanitarian, Conflict Resolution, Facilitation, and Gender Mainstreaming. She has extensive experience working with international, national, and civil society organizations in Egypt and other countries in Africa and Middle East. She earned a Diploma that focuses on Ethnic, Cultural Minority, Gender, and Group Studies from The American University in Cairo.

Hanan Khayal, Gender and Youth Program Assistant

Before joining SEED, Hanan joined different organizations, fostering her knowledge in both the development and the communications fields, including UNAIDS, Delta Research Center, and the Egyptian Youth Conferences and Forums. Hanan is currently a Policy Analyst at the Public Policy Hub at AUC’s GAPP School, and has been a member of the Presidential Leadership Program since 2016.

Hanan received her B.A. from the American University in Cairo in 2015 with a double major in Political Science and Integrated Marketing Communication. She is currently pursuing her master of Public Administration at the AUC.


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