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The ICC-ESCWA Centre of Entrepreneurship is an initiative co-led by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) to prepare and mobilize the next generation of entrepreneurs in the Arab region.

The ICC-ESCWA Centre of Entrepreneurship was launched in October 2020 to develop the skills of young people who face uncertain employment prospects, mentor start-ups and local entrepreneurs, and improve the livelihoods of citizens in Lebanon and the Arab region. The ICC-ESCWA Centre of Entrepreneurship is located at the United Nations House in Beirut, Lebanon.

In partnership with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESWA), the Centre pairs local entrepreneurs with experts from the United Nations and ICC to provide virtual mentoring and coaching. Drawing upon the expertise of chambers of commerce in over 100 countries, ICC’s Knowledge Solutions Department, and ESCWA’s knowledge hubs, the Centre provides local entrepreneurial initiatives with a platform for regional and international exposure.

Each year, the ICC-ESCWA Centre of Entrepreneurship organises a series of talks for entrepreneurs, chambers of commerce, businesses, banks, and governments, to share ideas, exchange experiences, and develop solutions to the structural challenges facing developing markets in the region. By bringing together leaders, businesses and entrepreneurs, the ICC-ESCWA Centre of Entrepreneurship will establish a community of innovative professionals to challenge convention and transform the future of business.

Community Workshops

The ICC-ESCWA Centre of Entrepreneurship has organised a series of community workshops to look at the structural challenges facing emerging and developing entrepreneurial markets in the region. The purpose of these workshops is to bring together different stakeholders from the region to identify, understand, and address the critical issues facing business in the region.

Tech Scaleup MENA Preliminary Report 2021

In April 2021, the ICC-ESCWA Centre of Entrepreneurship and Mind the Bridge published  the Tech Scaleup MENA – 2021 Preliminary Report, a landmark overview of the  of the MENA tech scaleup ecosystem.

Download a copy of the report now.

Helping Lebanon rebuild

The ICC-ESCWA Centre of Entrepreneurship will convene stakeholders from government, business, and civil society across the region, to exchange ideas and policies to aid Lebanon’s rebuild.

ICC and ESCWA will collaborate with multilateral institutions assisting in the rebuild efforts, such as the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, to contribute private sector support and promote structural reforms.

Learn from the ICC Centre of Entrepreneurship – Beirut Hub’s strategic partners

The ICC Centre of Entrepreneurship – Beirut Hub is supported by a wide variety of strategic partners to ensure that local entrepreneurs and start-ups have access to world-class resources, tools, and expertise.

Berytech, Beirut’s ecosystem for entrepreneurs, is working with the ICC Centre of Entrepreneurship – Beirut Hub to scale up start-ups in the region. Leveraging Berytech’s proven expertise in supporting entrepreneurship and innovation, funding advice, mentoring, and counselling, the ICC Centre of Entrepreneurship – Beirut Hub will provide start-ups and entrepreneurs with the required knowledge to scale their operations globally.
Facebook will support the ICC-ECWAS Centre of Entrepreneurship on a wide variety of projects related to digitization of SMBs in the region. As part of this partnership, ICC will provide on the ground support for Facebook’s #LoveLocal initiative – designed to provide additional support to SMBs in the MENA region, the campaign will help them pivot to digital and grow by highlighting several resources made available for their economic recovery. The campaign amplifies the voice of SMBs, while shedding light on their stories and their challenges to help generate consumer demand for local SMBs across the region. To find out more, visit Facebook’s website.
In September 2020, IE University and ICC hosted the IE Smart Trade Venture Day, a global challenge that seeks to support innovative projects after the impact of COVID-19. The five finalists received US$5,000 in Amazon Web Services Promotional Credit and the winner received US$10,000 in Amazon Web Services Promotional Credit. IE and ICC are planning to host future competitions for start-ups with a focus on trade digitalisation, health, supply chain resilience, trade finance and any other issues relevant to helping small- and medium-sized (SMEs).

The ICC Centre of Entrepreneurship – Beirut Hub will make these challenges available to local entrepreneurs and start-ups.

Mind the Bridge, an innovation advisory firm, will be working with ICC Centre of Entrepreneurship – Beirut Hub to help scaling, mapping, and empowering start-ups in the MENA region.
Pearson Middle East will be working with the ICC Centre of Entrepreneurship – Beirut Hub and ICC Academy to provide courses and skill training programs for entrepreneurs in Lebanon. From real-world English learning courses to learning modules on work skills and digital skills, Pearson Middle East will work hand-in-hand with the ICC Centre of Entrepreneurship – Beirut Hub to ensure that the region’s next generation of business leaders are prepared for the future.
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