A perspective from Arab and African countries on how to achieve SDGs through Entrepreneurship and Innovation
- Against the 4IR backdrop, share international best practices and successes on promoting domestic investment to leverage Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) linked to entrepreneurship and innovation;
- Highlight best government practices to enhance economic development and adopt systems, financial inclusion tools for productivity and sustainability;
- Create linkages with financial institutions for entrepreneurs/investors and develop joint programmes with developmental financial institutions
Established in 1996 with the mandate of promoting investment and technology to the region, UNIDO ITPO Bahrain developed a holistic approach to address investment from the grass root level and established, in 1999, the Arab International Center for Entrepreneurship and Investment to induce and facilitate the promotion of domestic investment to leverage Foreign Direct Investment. This approach was adopted in 2007 as the Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion Programme – or EDIP – and has since been replicated into 52 countries. EDIP offers non-financial services and links to financial services to ensure financial inclusion and access to finance while, at the same time, building on ITPO Bahrain services for technology sourcing and networking with international counterparts.
With the expanding dissemination of EDIP and the increasing number of trained entrepreneurs/investors; ITPO Bahrain organized the World Entrepreneurs Investment Forum in 2015 and 2017 under the theme “Achieving the SDGs through Entrepreneurship & Innovation”, with the objective for WEIF to serve as a platform to develop and network entrepreneurs/investors from around the world towards business partnerships, and to share best practices to address economic development challenges and opportunities.
Accordingly, the intention of the side event is to officially launch WEIF 2019 at the General Conference, which is being organized under the auspices of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain, from 11 to 13 November 2019 in Manama, Bahrain, concurrently to the 18th Arab Annual Investors Summit, under the theme “Achieving the SDGs through Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Investing in the 4th Industrial Revolution in a Digital Economy”.
WEIF 2019 main subthemes include; Role of Entrepreneurship Towards Addressing Challenges in the Arab Region & Africa; Financial Inclusion 4.0; Institutionalizing Innovation; Industry 4.0 and Education 4.0.
WEIF 2019 will also offer a series of side events/activities namely; Promoting South-South Investments; 2nd International Conference on Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Investment: Role of Education and Universities; and Green Sustainable Investments for Agenda 2030. An official launch ceremony might be organized immediately after the side event (TBC).
- Domestic Investment is key to mobile foreign direct investments;
- Innovation is an inherent part of entrepreneurship;
- Achieving the SDGs requires a holistic partnership approach.
- What are the challenges facing and will face entrepreneurship and innovation in the Arab Region and Africa in the backdrop of the 4th industrial revolution?
- How can the exiting innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem be shaped and enhanced?
- How can UNIDO with its partners namely financial development institutions, universities, public and private partnerships, and others play a vital role in enhancing domestic and foreign direct investment which will involve entrepreneurs.
- What are the opportunities and road forward for the Arab Region and Africa visa vie the 4th industrial revolution?
Panel discussion, with testimonials from ITPO beneficiaries