Regional and Local Efforts to Encourage Entrepreneurship

Saturday, 15 February 2014
Acapulco (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Ghada Amer , Arab Science and Technology Foundation, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
As recently as 15 years ago the Arab MENA region countries began a transition from a declining industrial and manufacturing economy to an emerging entrepreneurial and innovation-driven economy. With this transition, many issues have also involved. This region has a lot of resources, but the region confronts many challenges. 2 years ago, some important countries in the Arab MENA region knew some kind of revolutions, called the Arab Spring revolutions. This radical change has its effects on all over the region's countries. The young people present a national source of energy and national wealth. The population in the Arab MENA countries reaches 367.4 million, including 70% of the population under the old of 25 years.The economic development and job creation are among the essential challenges that face the governments, private sector and NGOs in this region. So that, the entrepreneurship can plays a vital role to push the economic growth and create a new jobs away from government agencies. The entrepreneurship raises many issues related to: the early-stage equity market, the venture capital industry, the private investor market that provides the major source of seed and angel and start-up capital. It is worth mentioning that one of the goals of regional and local policies is to foster entrepreneurship and innovation in Arab MENA countries. We examine the sustainable development processes adopted by innovation and technological & scientific research. The entrepreneurship is a key driver of economic growth and diversification in the Arab MENA Region. It is necessary to accommodate women entrepreneurs in this process and empower her for starting new businesses, growing their enterprises, creating employment, and participating fully in economic development activity.   Many national, regional or local unites and organizations have created policies to directly support entrepreneurs so as to increase the number of businesses or aid the competitiveness and expansion of existing small and medium enterprise SMEs. We will discuss what is meant by the implications of these meanings for different policies to promote entrepreneurship, including social entrepreneurship. These include regional and local policies focusing upon advice, training, finance, technology transfer, markets access. The role and initiatives of ASTF (Arab Science and Technology Foundation) and its program to extract the innovation and support the Arab entrepreneurs (Technology Business Plan, Made in the Arab World, The European Satellite Navigation Competition – The Galileo Master). ASTF has also signed a many agreements with local and regional agencies to promote and support entrepreneurship in the region with (UNIDO, UNESCO, STDF in Egypt, etc.). In addition to ASTF action, at the regional level, we also mention the role of UNDP, UNIDO, and UNESCO in the region.