Preparing the next generation of entrepreneurs in the Arab region - United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
8-9 December 2021

Preparing the next generation of entrepreneurs in the Arab region


The International Chamber of Commerce and ESCWA are bringing together a line-up of international development experts and practitioners, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) representatives, policymakers, corporate leaders and chambers of commerce for a two-day regional economic forum to share their sector expertise and provide SMEs with the tools to succeed.

Outcome document

Recommendations for Preparing the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs in the Region

  • Today most of the capital investments are being funneled into UAE, KSA, and Egypt. There should be more cooperation and initiatives from the private sector and governments to create balances between geographies and help the remaining economies cope up with their neighbors.

  • Bringing digitization to SMEs has a profound positive effect on businesses’ performance and growth. Through digital transformation, gathered data on products, customers, and markets become available to help SMEs make better business decisions.

  • Community participation is a key factor for designing enabling Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) policies that empower innovators and entrepreneurs in the Arab region. Digital networks are shaping the modern trend to accelerate cooperation and partnerships across the region around STI and Entrepreneurship.

  • The Roadmap approach is especially recommended to improve access to Science, Technology, and Innovation in the least developed countries for a sustainable recovery.

  • SMEs, governments and the private sector should work more together to improve trade finance.

  • Innovation is fundamental to the development of trade finance in the Arab region. Technologies have an important role in bridging the gap between financiers and borrowers, such as fintech and crowdfunding platforms.

  • Programs designed to support women entrepreneurs should offer a combination of both financial and non-financial support services. It is essential to equip women with the right skills and tools to manage and grow their businesses. Technical support includes providing targeted trainings depending on the business needs, coaching, and mentoring services and should focus on networking, which will facilitate learning and access to opportunities and will have a positive impact on business growth.

  • Clustering is the recommended approach to boost SMEs competitiveness, strengthen value chains on the industry level, and create linkages and interconnectedness between SMEs to work together for sustainable growth and job creation.

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