January 21, 2022


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Beirut hosts a center to support small and medium-sized Arab companies | Gulf newspaper

On Friday, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) launched an Entrepreneurship Center tasked with stimulating innovation and improving the business environment to support small and medium-sized businesses in the Arab region. Headquartered in Beirut, the center will work with a wide range of companies, chambers of commerce, academic and research institutions, and international and national government agencies, to connect entrepreneurs from the Arab region to global markets, and to improve the regulatory environment for SMEs. Among the center’s tasks is also to develop the skills of young people who face difficulties in accessing labor markets, and to support local start-up companies, with the aim of improving the living conditions of the residents of Lebanon and other countries in the region. The center will serve as a platform for chambers of commerce, partners and innovators to scale and transfer the most successful local and regional initiatives on a global level. The center will use digital means to connect entrepreneurs with experts from the United Nations and the International Chamber of Commerce network to provide mentoring and virtual training. The center will also benefit from the capabilities of chambers of commerce in more than 100 countries, from the Knowledge Solutions Department at the International Chamber of Commerce, and from ESCWA’s knowledge centers. John Denton, Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Commerce, said: “As the institutional voice for 45 million businesses around the world, the International Chamber of Commerce provides small and medium-sized businesses, in Lebanon and throughout the region, with the resources and tools they need to survive and thrive. In the wake of the Beirut port explosion, the ICC-ESCWA Center for Entrepreneurship will provide resources to support the Lebanese in strengthening their economy and addressing labor and inequality challenges.” He added: “Small and medium-sized companies constitute nearly 90% of all companies in the Middle East and North Africa, and the center will support them in expanding their operations, and will enable entrepreneurs to turn their innovative ideas into reality, thus improving livelihoods in the region.”