A workshop on November 1, 2018 at the World Youth Forum - Courtesy of official WYF Facebook page
CAIRO – 4 November 2018: “World Youth Forum (WYF) represents a clear evidence of Egypt’s support to entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Co-founder of Flat6Labs Startup Accelerator, Ahmed el-Alfi, said at the WYF sideline session titled “The Role of Entrepreneurs and Startups in Global Economic Growth” on Nov. 4.
This session was attended by Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt Tarek Amer, Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait, and CEO of the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Niveen Gamea, as well as a number of outstanding entrepreneurs from across the world.
Business Support Manager of Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC), Alaa Moustafa, stated at the beginning of the session that entrepreneurship has become an important indicator of the countries' strength and that it contributes directly to offering job opportunities which in turn solves social problems; hence, countries support entrepreneurs and work to create a suitable environment for them.
“Entrepreneurs face many great challenges mainly in opening new markets, marketing, and reaching investors to get financial support,” he added.
Susan Amat, the founder of Venture Hive’s Miami Accelerator, accelerator for economic development, asserted that entrepreneurs have to depend when funding their projects on startups' clients and tractions not on the investors.
She stressed that these forums represent a chance for entrepreneurs to meet with other people from all over the world who do and work on the same thing and create networks with them.
“Egypt will become a regional center for entrepreneurship if it opens up to the whole world and attracts more talents,” she concluded.
Moreover, Sandile Shabangu , the founder of Startup Mzansi Foundation, presented his personal experiences in failing more than once to establish his project and how he eventually managed to reach his goal.
“There are from four to ten projects that fail in the first year of its founding, but failure does not mean the end of the road; it’s just the beginning,” Shabangu said.
At last, he said that around 15 to 30 million young people are unemployed in South Africa, asserting that it’s necessary to help those people to have their own startups. Mzansi Foundation is a non-profit company supporting innovative youth entrepreneurship in South Africa.
Alfi from Flat6lab concluded that there are many Egyptian youths who leave their full-time jobs in companies to establish their own startups. “This shows the improvement of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Egypt.”
The 2018 World Youth Forum (WYF) held its opening ceremony under the auspices of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi on Saturday, November 3.
The second annual edition of the WYF will tackle two main axes: peace and development. The forum will bring together 5,000 youths represented by 60 delegations from across the world to explore key issues facing their generation, and determine their role in implementing the global development goals and in facing terrorism.
The first axis will discuss reconstructing post-conflict countries and societies, the role of world leaders in achieving peace, the duty of the international community to provide humanitarian assistance and counter-terrorism, and the Euro-Mediterranean partnership.
The axis of development will include topics related to energy and water security, empowerment of people with disabilities, the role of voluntary work in building societies, the agenda of 2063 African Sustainable Development, digital citizenship, the role of art and cinema in shaping communities, ways to build future leaders, and means of shrinking the gender gap in the work force.
On Nov. 1 and 2, the forum witnessed pre-workshops related to the "Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want" and "Empowering Persons with Disabilities: Towards a More Integrated World."
The opening of the World Youth Theater took place on Friday, November 2. The actual discussion sessions are set to start on November 4, where participants will discuss a number of issues, including differences among cultures and civilizations, the role of world leaders in building and sustaining peace, the role of soft power in countering ideological extremism and terrorism, and Day Zero: Water security in the wake of climate change.
On November 5, the sessions will tackle the role of entrepreneurs and start-ups in global economic growth, rebuilding societies and states after conflicts, narrowing the gender gap in the labor market and humanitarian assistance: A global responsibility in the face of challenges.
The forum's closing session and the announcement of the World Youth Forum 2018's recommendations will take place on Nov. 6.