Support for Yemen SMEs upscaled under BRAVE program

Ayman Sejiny, CEO of ICD, center, witnesses the signing ceremony of the implementation agreements for the scale-up of the BRAVE program in Yemen. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 02 January 2019
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Support for Yemen SMEs upscaled under BRAVE program

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) recently witnessed the signing ceremony of the implementation agreements for the scale-up of the BRAVE program in Yemen. The Business Resilience Assistance for Value-adding Enterprises (BRAVE) project aims to enhance the resilience of SMEs in Yemen in vital sectors against the impact of the ongoing conflict. 

The positive results of the first phase (2017-2018) included sustaining existing jobs, creating new ones and restoring trust links across the value chains and financial sector. This progress encouraged development partners IsDB, the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and the Small and Micro Enterprise Promotion Service (SMEPS) to launch the second phase of BRAVE. 

Dr. Mansur Muhtar, vice president of sector operations, commended the progress made by the BRAVE project in providing livelihood support to Yemen by unleashing the private sector’s role in maintaining business resilience. Muhtar also highlighted the unique partnership model between the international donors, IsDB Group and the leading developmental and financial institutions of Yemen. Having raised $9 million in grants from the transition fund and another $32.24 million from the Women Entrepreneurs Financing Initiative (We-FI), the BRAVE model is in line with the P5P program of changing the IsDB Group into a bank of developers for development. 

Ayman Sejiny, CEO of ICD, said: “The ICD will expand its support to this innovative program providing technical oversight and resource mobilization for SMEPS and our partner banks in Yemen. We are also working with our partners to adapt and adopt the BRAVE model to other comparable contexts where SMEs are in need of business resilience support to cope with business environment challenges. These interventions are also leveraging the established network partner banks of ICD in our member countries.” 

Wesam Qaid, executive director of SMEPS, said: “The project has helped support SMEs to sustain more than 15,000 jobs and create around 1,000 additional direct jobs in the vital sectors of health, agribusiness, food processing and fisheries as a result of immediate improvement in the firms’ performance. More impact is expected in the upcoming scaling of the project across gender and value chain dimensions under the new wave of funding facilitated from IsDB Group.” 

SMEPS was first established in Yemen in 2005 and it is a subsidiary of the Social Fund for Development in Yemen (SFD).

SMEPS aims to create more jobs, expand its beneficiaries and focus mainly on developmental projects, linking them to humanitarian work. It aims to achieve its goals by pursuing “creative strategies for micro, small and medium enterprises of diversity and growth through the market-oriented approach.”


Cartier unveils Coloratura at historic Riyadh palace

Updated 13 February 2019
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Cartier unveils Coloratura at historic Riyadh palace

Guests of Cartier were treated to an unforgettable evening at the late King Faisal’s palace Qasr Al-Maather, situated in the heart of the Alfaisal University in Riyadh, as the maison unveiled its latest high jewelry collection Coloratura. 

The evening was held under the patronage of Princess Maha bint Mishari, vice president of external relations and advancement at Alfaisal University. In her opening remarks, she said: “The new friendship between maison Cartier and Alfaisal University is about the shared values and goals that we have in the areas of education and the empowerment of women.”

Princess Maha added: “Cartier’s global efforts as well as the great heart and commitment of the entire Cartier team were so very apparent in the spectacular exhibition created, as evidenced by the great care taken in preparation of the historic venue for the evening’s event.” 

Coloratura took the guests on a journey to the four corners of the globe, symbolic of Cartier’s long-standing relationship with India, Africa and the Orient. With dynamic stone pairings, unexpected color palettes and the illusion of infinite movement, Coloratura also featured exclusive pieces, created by Cartier especially for its Saudi clients.

Held in one of the Kingdom’s most iconic building, Coloratura was presented in conjunction with an exhibition of pieces from the Cartier Patrimony Collection, especially flown in for the occasion and illustrating the maison’s main creative influences throughout its history. A key piece of the exhibition was the Asma Allah Al-Husna bracelet, featuring a 19th century Islamic arts inspired creation.

“The legacy of the House of Cartier is ensured through the brilliance of its artisans, as is the legacy of Alfaisal ensured through that of its students. Shared values, mutual interests, and a commitment to education are what binds this collaboration for now, and for success in all its future endeavors to come,” said Princess Maha.

The guests witnessed and appreciated Cartier’s mastery of fine craftsmanship through pieces from the Tutti Frutti collection. A marriage of texture, color and form with sapphires, rubies and emeralds, Tutti Frutti possesses a unique style that dates back to the 1920s. 

“After Paris, Tokyo and Seoul, we are proud to offer our Saudi clients this stunning showcase of Cartier’s know-how in their home country,” said Alban du Mesnil du Buisson, managing director Cartier Saudi Arabia. 

“We are very pleased to have our event open to the public on one of the exhibition days, and truly honored to host it inside this unique and culturally significant structure that symbolizes the Kingdom’s commitment to nurturing and educating its community and youth — a philosophy that echoes Cartier’s values,” he added.