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International Chamber of Commerce and UN Launch New Regional Entrepreneurship Centre for MENA

The ICC-ESCWA Centre of Entrepreneurship in Beirut will leverage both entities’ global network to empower, mentor and pave the way for SMEs in the region.

The International Chamber of Commerce and the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia have announced that they are to launch a new entrepreneurship centre in Beirut to serve MENA SMEs and entrepreneurs.

The ICC-ESCWA Centre of Entrepreneurship will look to work with all manner of stakeholder, including chambers of commerce, academic institutions, intergovernmental and governmental agencies, with the ultimate goal of paving a way for local entrepreneurs into global markets. The centre intends to do this through a number of different ways, including connecting entrepreneurs with experts from the UN and ICC's global network leveraging for virtual coaching and mentoring and hosting talks from different stakeholders to address structural challenges in the ecosystem and beyond.

“This Centre ushers in a new phase of ESCWA work in supporting SMEs in the Arab region,”  said ESCWA Executive Secretary Rola Dashti. “The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development promises to leave no one behind. We believe that creating jobs through vibrant entrepreneurship, particularly for women, is crucial to achieving this ambition. The Centre will provide much-needed assistance to link SMEs to regional and global value chains so that they benefit from emerging opportunities. SMEs have been badly hit by COVID-19 and need urgent and concerted support. Our partnership with ICC, through the Centre of Entrepreneurship, aims to provide exactly that.”

The centre has also established several partnerships from the local, regional and international ecosystems that will also provide support for entrepreneurs. These partners include Beirut's own Berytech, global innovation advisory firm, Mind the Bridge, UK-owned education and publishing and assessment service, Pearson, and social media juggernaut, Facebook.

Find out more here.

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