Entrepreneurship forum concludes in Bahrain

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Miroslav Lajčák, the President of the General Assembly (right), receives the outcome communique from Hashim Hussein, the head of the UNIDO ITPO-Bahrain and Executive Secretary of WEIF 2017 (centre), as Samir Aldarabi, Director of UNIC-Manama looks on. Photo: UN News/Vibhu Mishra

A United Nations forum concluded in Bahrain on Thursday with a strong call for the integration of entrepreneurship and innovation as a means of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Some 1,000 participants from more than 90 countries, 60 per cent of them women, attended the World Entrepreneurs Investment Forum 2017 held in the capital, Manama.

May Yaacoub reports on the outcome.

The forum called on governments, the private sector, academia, civil society, media and international organizations to facilitate the work of entrepreneurs and innovators to ensure sustainable development.

Women accounted for more than 60 per cent of participants, and the outcome document—known as the Manama Declaration—also underscored their importance as business owners.

At a press conference to announce the declaration, UN General Assembly President Miroslav Lajčák called for better incentives to encourage entrepreneurs to contribute to global development efforts.

"Let me emphasise here, in particular, the role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which very often constitute the majority of business activity within countries. Supporting SMEs is a proven strategy to build a robust economy from the ground up. In addition, access to financial services and innovation offer valuable opportunities for women and young people as well. Helping businesses get off the ground and sustaining them through their initial phases helps generate employment, income and economic growth."

The World Entrepreneurs and Investment Forum 2017 was organized by the Government of Bahrain and the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

Key events over the three days included sessions on the Maritime-Continental Silk Roadaddressing challenges faced by women in industry; and recognition of men and women business leaders for their contributions to sustainable development.

Reporting from Manama, Bahrain, this is May Yaacoub.

Duration:  1’38″

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