Emerging entrepreneurs participating in the 3rd IDB Youth Forum have called for a favourable business climate in order to support businesses that will create jobs for the youth. The entrepreneurs made the call during a seminar entitled ‘Youth Entrepreneurship: From Job Seekers to Job Creators’, on the sidelines of the 40th Anniversary celebrations of Islamic Development Bank (IDB), in Jeddah, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The IDB Youth Forum Seminar had panelists and participants from Egypt, Ghana, Cameroon, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom among others, where they brainstormed on the current business climate, the challenges constraining young entrepreneurs such as the lack of effective regulatory framework and monopoly by big entrepreneurs.
In his welcome address before participants, IDB Vice President (Corporate Services) Dr Ahmet Tiktik suggested that youth unemployment is a serious issue in IDB member countries and Non-member countries which has now reached 30 percent.
“Conventional means of job creation is not working, primary engines of employment cannot consume graduates and school drop outs,” said Dr Tiktik. He added, “At the moment the educational system at various countries does not promote entrepreneurial spirit, and being aware of this problem, encouraged IDB to organize the Youth Forum. The IDB Vice President called on the participants to share their experiences with IDB.”
Selima Ahmad is the Founder and President of the Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry, she told the participants during the seminar that to succeed in business you need to create your own space and avoid the fear of risk. She stated that people are dynamic, but to succeed they need to be trained.
“Monopoly by the big guys is a serious issue, there is need to protect the start-ups and address the challenges of regulatory framework,” said Mr Khalid Suleimani, President of the Saudi based SIRB Investor Network.
In his contribution to the debate on job creation, Mr Ahmed Alfi, Chairman Sawari Ventures, Egypt told the participants that jobs are the byproducts of what we do, so we should remain focused. ‘Addressing funding gaps and working on the ecosystem that remains dysfunctional’ should be a priority according to Mr Ahmed.
Anna Sameka a Senior Portfolio Manager at Lundin Foundation, Ghana called for the protection of intellectual property rights, while Chritsian Ngan, the Cameroon based Founder Madlyn Cazalis, called on young entrepreneurs to ‘start small and think big’, ‘with three $3000 you can do something’, he told the participants.