The award, which has been presented annually since 2019 by the
Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly
(ARLEM), celebrates both the work of entrepreneurs younger than 35 and
efforts by local authorities to foster business-friendly policies.
offers alternatives to single-use plastic bags and provides green services
that foster awareness and responsible consumption, by supporting start-ups,
by running campaigns, and through partnerships with local government and
the public sector. Its overarching mission is to ban single-use plastics.
Ms Ramadan, who is 33, said: "We work for the plastic ban in three
different ways. The first is to develop alternative products to single-use
plastics, like eco-friendly shopping bags with oriental designs,
eco-friendly eating sets and so on. The second is that we realised that if
we have the product but don't have an aware customer, then still the
mission will not be achieved. So we worked on awareness. The third part,
which is the most important one, is that we work on policy-making. So we
connect with the policy-makers to support what we do and what other
activists in Egypt do, towards plastic bans."
The President of the European Committee of the Regions, Vasco Alves
Cordeiro, who was in the jury, congratulated the winner: "As the eyes of
the world are on COP27 and on the decisions that will be taken to save our
planet, we need to support and promote the efforts of those that everyday
are pushing the boundaries and delivering concrete actions across the
world. Manar Ramadan, a young Egyptian entrepreneur, is an inspiring
example for those who believe that change is possible if we tackle global
ARLEM brings together local and regional politicians drawn from the 42
countries in the Union for the Mediterranean, and the award was developed
Union for the Mediterranean
(UfM). The award was presented to Ms Ramadan on 8 November at
ARLEM's annual plenary
, held this year in Izmir in Türkiye, and in the presence of the UfM's
Deputy Secretary-General Abdelkader El Khissassi. The award forms part of a
series of events to mark the Day of the Mediterranean, created to mark the
foundation of the Barcelona Process that led to the creation of the UfM and
a new effort to strengthen ties in the region.
The ARLEM award, which is open to entrepreneurs from the EU's partner
countries in the Mediterranean, drew applicants from 11 countries: Albania,
Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine,
Tunisia, and Türkiye. All the companies have been active for three years or
Five other entrepreneurs were shortlisted for the ARLEM award: Ahmed Aouti of DrillSERV, a water-management company in
Tunisia; Khaled El Sadi of Blue Filter, a waste-management
company in Palestine; Monther Fadel, whose company, Darb
Trading, manufactures robots that clean solar panels; Shlomit Gopher from Israel, whose enterprise, Apri Aprons,
makes products for children with special needs; and Secil Yurtseven of Integral Yem Gıda, whose company
produces animal feed. In all, there were 53 applications from 11 countries.
The applications came from a wide spectrum of business, including: a
pharmaceutical and cosmetics manufacturer from Algeria; an arts association
that promotes women's empowerment in Lebanon; and an apiculture enterprise
The evaluation committee included representatives from: the
Union for the Mediterranean
European Training Foundation
; the European Commission's
Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations
Joint Research Centre
; MedCities and
Inter-Mediterranean Commission of Conference of Peripheral Maritime
; and Anima Invest.
The evaluation committee was chaired by the
European Committee of the Regions
, which serves as the secretariat of ARLEM.
The award was won in 2021 by Erilda Krasi of
1001 Albanian Adventures, a tour operator based in the city of Berat. The first two awards went to
fashion business for women –
– based in Tripoli, Libya, and to a date-processing business –
– in Ghardaia, in southern Algeria.