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Emergency Trust Fund for Africa
News article17 December 2019

Cracking the code for female entrepreneurship

Najla Al Missalati, She Codes, UNDP

The crisis in Libya has taken its toll on the country’s second most populous city, Benghazi. However, rather than acting as a deterrent, the situation has spurred Najla Al Missalati to leverage her entrepreneurial skills to serve her city, namely its women and children.

With support of the EU Trust Fund for Africa, she established She Codes, an intensive bootcamp to teach Libyan women how to code and programme. “If we don’t make the change, then who will?” asks Najla, asserting that, “if all the good people leave Libya and flee with their lives, we are selling out a beautiful country and we are letting down our grandchildren.” Despite the difficulties of introducing women to a male dominated sector, Najla insists that the challenge was “worth it.” “No matter how conservative their families are, or how terrible the conditions in their city, women trainees are able to work from home using only their laptops which can support them to feel more confident and to earn a living.”

And her determination bore fruit, as She Codes plans to empower over 700 women by the end of 2019.
Over the next five years, She Codes intends to reach more than 2,600 women, creating more than a thousand sustainable jobs along the way.


Publication date
17 December 2019
Region and Country
Improved migration management

Programmes in the region