Stage set for Global Entrepreneurship Forum

Updated 03 November 2015

Stage set for Global Entrepreneurship Forum

RIYADH: A 21-member Asian Entrepreneurship Alliance was formed at the Second Global Entrepreneurship Forum 2015, which was flagged off at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Riyadh on Tuesday.
Representatives from the Kingdom, South Korea, Bangladesh, China, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Japan, Jordan, Indonesia, Kuwait, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Lebanon, the UAE and Vietnam inked the agreements during the forum sessions.
The new alliance is expected to bring the signatories to the agreements to a common platform to boost the entrepreneurship among the youths of the respective countries.
Michael Lee from South Korea told Arab News that the new alliance will open up new areas for cooperation among the member countries in the area of entrepreneurship. “We have been toying with the idea of organizing a special program for young entrepreneurs, and finally achieved forming a new alliance for the Asian countries,” Lee said.
He added that the structure, functions and the location of the headquarters are yet to be decided at subsequent meetings.
Abdulaziz Almutairi, secretary general and director general of the Centennial Fund, signed on behalf of the Kingdom.
Almutairi said the Global Entrepreneurship Forum (GEF) is an annual event that gathers international leaders in business and entrepreneurship in one location for the purpose of sharing insights, exchanging best practices, and generating exposure for the latest trends and innovations in the global community of entrepreneurs.
The Centennial Fund (TCF) launched this initiative in 2011 as an extension of the annual Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah International Award for Entrepreneurship.
Innovation in social enterprise is the theme of this year’s forum as the GEF explores the viability of solving a variety of social issues, both locally and globally, through the vehicle of entrepreneurship.
The future of entrepreneurship in the Kingdom looks bright and prosperous, as indicated by the presence of several factors required for successful business industry leadership, including viable human capital in the Kingdom's youth, the availability of funds for capital investment in new ventures and the King’s vision of Riyadh as the world’s capital of entrepreneurship in the next decade.”
The Centennial Fund has launched more than 20 initiatives and strategic partnerships, including Youth Business International, the G20, the Global Entrepreneurship Forum — held annually in Riyadh. It also launched G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance, the Gulf Cooperative Council Union of Entrepreneurs, Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah International Award for Entrepreneurship, and the Clinton Global Initiative under the auspices of former US President Bill Clinton.
TCF has established Centennial Valley in conjunction with local universities to serve as an incubator for entrepreneurs. TCF has also announced the launch of the International Academy of Entrepreneurs.
Amer Bukuvit from Bosnia and Heerzegovina, who was the moderator at the first session of the forum, told Arab News: “It’s time for the nations to groom the young entrepreneurs and train them according to the needs of the country. It has to be win-win situation.”
Former Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina Zlatko Lagumdzua said education and economy of a country should go together for the prosperity of a nation. Every nation has a social responsibility to provide adequate security for businesses, which will eventually promote its economy.
Samantha Caccoma, founder and CEO of Swiss-based Social Business Earth (SBE), described the forum as a fantastic concept to bring young entrepreneurs to get new ideas through exchange of experiences.
SBE is an international consulting and advisory service firm based in Lugano, Switzerland, that utilizes the model of social business, a concept developed by Nobel Peace Laureate Muhammad Yunus, to maximize the social impact of businesses, charities, philanthropists and government entities.
In addition, SBE offers social business incubation services to entrepreneurs who are launching their own social business startups and assisting them with their business plan and strategy.
Feasible social business ideas alone are considered.
SBE is officially recognized by the government of Canton Ticino, Switzerland as an organization of social utility that does not distribute dividends.
Fernando H.F. Botelho from F123 said his company has low-cost software, which will help the visually impaired to do their studies and office work. He said he is looking for business partners in the Gulf region.


Africa development bank says risks to continent’s growth ‘increasing by the day’

Updated 18 August 2019

Africa development bank says risks to continent’s growth ‘increasing by the day’

  • The trade dispute between US and China has roiled global markets and unnerved investors
  • African nations need to boost trade with each other to cushion the impact of external shocks

DAR ES SALAAM: The US-China trade war and uncertainty over Brexit pose risks to Africa’s economic prospects that are “increasing by the day,” the head of the African Development Bank (AfDB) told Reuters.
The trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies has roiled global markets and unnerved investors as it stretches into its second year with no end in sight.
Britain, meanwhile, appears to be on course to leave the European Union on Oct. 31 without a transition deal, which economists fear could severely disrupt trade flows.
Akinwumi Adesina, president of the AfDB, said the bank could review its economic growth projection for Africa — of 4 percent in 2019 and 4.1 percent in 2020 — if global external shocks accelerate.
“We normally revise this depending on global external shocks that could slowdown global growth and these issues are increasing by the day,” Adesina told Reuters late on Saturday on the sidelines of the Southern African Development Community meeting in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
“You have Brexit, you also have the recent challenges between Pakistan and India that have flared off there, plus you have the trade war between the United States and China. All these things can combine to slow global growth, with implications for African countries.”
The bank chief said African nations need to boost trade with each other and add value to agricultural produce to cushion the impact of external shocks.
“I think the trade war has significantly impacted economic growth prospects in China and therefore import demand from China has fallen significantly and so demand for products and raw materials from Africa will only fall even further,” he said.
“It will also have another effect with regard to China’s own outward-bound investments on the continent,” he added, saying these could also affect official development assistance.
Adesina said a continental free-trade zone launched last month, the African Continental Free Trade Area, could help speed up economic growth and development, but African nations needed to remove non-tariff barriers to boost trade.
“The countries that have always been facing lower volatilities have always been the ones that do a lot more in terms of regional trade and do not rely on exports of raw materials,” Adesina said.
“The challenges cannot be solved unless all the barriers come down. Free mobility of labor, free mobility of capital and free mobility of people.”