The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) have launched the ICC-ESCWA Centre of Entrepreneurship to inspire entrepreneurial innovation and improve the business environment for SMEs in the Arab region.
Based in Beirut, the Centre will work with various stakeholders, including businesses, chambers of commerce, academic institutions, intergovernmental and governmental agencies, to connect local entrepreneurs to global markets and enhance regulatory conditions for SMEs to thrive. From developing the skills of young people who face uncertain employment prospects to mentoring local startups and entrepreneurs, the ICC-ESCWA Centre of Entrepreneurship is devoted to improving the livelihoods of citizens in Lebanon and the rest of the region.
In addition to ICC and ESCWA, the Centre will be supported through partnerships with local, regional and international actors, including Berytech, Beirut’s ecosystem for entrepreneurs; Facebook, the social media platform; Mind the Bridge, the innovation advisory firm; and Pearson, the educational provider. These partnerships will strengthen the Centre’s mission and purpose, as well as strengthen public-private initiatives to rebuild Beirut, digitize SMEs, improve livelihoods, and create new economic opportunities for those living in the Arab region.
The Centre will serve as a platform to scale globally the most successful local and regional entrepreneurial initiatives driven by chambers of commerce and innovative partners. Leveraging digital connectivity, the Centre will pair entrepreneurs with experts from the United Nations and ICC’s global network to provide virtual mentoring and coaching. The Centre will also draw upon the strength of chambers of commerce in over 100 countries, ICC’s Knowledge Solutions Department, and ESCWA’s Knowledge Hubs.
The Centre will host a series of talks for entrepreneurs, chambers of commerce, businesses, banks, and Governments, to address the structural challenges facing emerging and developing markets, including youth employment, gender inclusion, and education. By bringing together thought leaders, businesses, and entrepreneurs, the Centre will create a thriving community of professionals devoted to bringing their innovative ideas to life.
During the launch ceremony, Berytech’s Deputy General Manager Ramy Boujawdeh joined a roundtable with other Lebanese business leaders and SMEs to discuss looking ahead. He was joined by Maissa Abou Adal – Member of the BOD at Holdal Sal, Dina Harake – Global Compact Network Lebanon, Alberto Onetti – Chairman at Mind the Bridge, Hannah Wuzél – Lebanon Country Manager at cewas, and Marc Aoun – Founder at Compost Baladi.
Learn more about the ICC-ESCWA Centre of Entrepreneurship, here.
About the International Chamber of Commerce
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is the institutional representative of more than 45 million companies in over 100 countries. ICC’s core mission is to make business work for everyone, every day, everywhere. Through a unique mix of advocacy, solutions and standard setting, we promote international trade, responsible business conduct and a global approach to regulation, in addition to providing market-leading dispute resolution services. Our members include many of the world’s leading companies, SMEs, business associations and local chambers of commerce.
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.