Beirut, 1 November 2022--At the closing of the first Arab SMEs Summit,The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) announces its partners’ commitment to providing funding to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to the tune of $130 million.
Commitments highlighted by ESCWA Executive Secretary Rola Dashti and partners included in addition to funding, digitizing 100 enterprises that have not yet embraced e-commerce; providing training for 40,000 young men and women to develop their skills; providing technical assistance to over 400 SMES in the areas of quality compliance, digital transformation, energy efficiency and environment; and launching two centres of entrepreneurship in Morocco and Saudi Arabia. Moreover, partners committed to supporting the upscaling of more than 50 SMEs to access external markets.
Dashti stressed that the success stories that were featured during the Summit showed that nothing was impossible when there was persistence, perseverance and support. “We will build bridges and strengthen cooperation with you and among you. Together we will go beyond the borders of our countries and region to reach other regions of the world. However, big the challenges may seem, however long the road might be, our faith in your capacity is without limits,” she assured.
Entrepreneurs also registered their personal commitments, to be evaluated against implementation in the Summit’s second edition in 2023.
The closing ceremony featured the announcement of the winners of the “Restoring Hope” challenge, launched by ESCWA earlier this year.
The Summit, which was organized by ESCWA in cooperation with the Jordan Entreprise Development Corporation (JEDCO), had kicked off on Sunday 30 October in Amman, under the patronage of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II represented by Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh. It was attended by about 650 participants including entrepreneurs, investors, business influencers, policy makers, economists, journalists, representatives of intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations, as well as donors.
Summit proceedings can be viewed at the following link: https://bit.ly/ASMESLive
One of five United Nations regional commissions, ESCWA supports inclusive and sustainable economic and social development in Arab States, and works on enhancing regional integration.
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