General Electric and Ashoka Changemakers Award $75K to Innovators Advancing Economic Equality for Women in the Middle East and North Africa

Jan 22, 2014 4:00 PM ET
Campaign: Stakeholder Voices

The winners of the Women Powering Work: Innovations for Economic Equality competition, sponsored by General Electric and Ashoka Changemakers will each receive US $25,000 in unrestricted funding to support their innovative solutions for advancing economic opportunities for women in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey or Pakistan.

The winners are:

  • Busanti, a bus service in Pakistan that provides safe, affordable transportation for women, as well as access to a 24/7 health hotline;
  • DoctHERS-in-the-House, a healthcare marketplace in Pakistan that connects home-based, female doctors to patients through telemedicine;
  •, a virtual platform from Jordan that enables Arab female engineers across the Middle East and North Africa to telecommute.

The winning innovations were selected by a panel of expert judges that included Amy Millington (president, eBay Foundation’s The Opportunity Project) and Ahsan Jamil (CEO, The Aman Foundation).

“We are entering a digital age where the power of sustainable, market-based solutions—ones that dive deeper into populations that are difficult to serve—will create opportunities for women who are not yet participating in the employment market.” said Khalid Alkhudair, Ashoka Fellow, competition judge, and founder of Glowork. “The Women Powering Work competition shows there are innovative and transformative solutions that deserve our support.” 

Women constitute 25 percent or less of the total workforce in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan—half the rate of the global average. Family responsibilities and socio-cultural norms often conflict with women’s ability to seek employment in these regions. By providing online access to physicians, safe transportation and/or the ability to work from home, the winning innovations sourced by the Women Powering Work competition support the goal of taking critical strides towards achieving women’s economic equality in the region.

“General Electric is excited to support and activate a network of innovators who are creating economic opportunities for women,” said Nabil Habayeb, the president and  CEO of General Electric’s Middle East, North Africa & Turkey region.

Additional information about the competition and the winners can be found at

About General Electric

GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the companys website at

About Ashoka Changemakers

Ashoka Changemakers convenes and connects high-potential changemakers, their ideas and their resources through the power of collaborative competitions and partner networks. We all work together to exponentially accelerate social change, igniting a movement that sweeps through systems, tipping the attitudes and behavior of individuals and institutions. Changemakers builds on Ashokas three-decade history to advance an “Everyone a Changemaker” world where people gain the skills and resources they need to collaborate on solving complex social problems. For more information, visit the organizations website at