The European Union supports innovative startups in the Mediterranean

by Editor

MENA Newswire: To support the innovation and startup ecosystems in the Mediterranean region, local and international organizations gathered in Amman as part of the EU-funded ‘From Innovation to Creation’ programme. “Our innovation programmes in Jordan and in the region such as the programme with SPARK, Ruwwad and Institut Arabe des Chefs d’Entreprises will boost neighbouring countries’ startup environment” said Thibaut Moyer, Deputy Head of Cooperation at the European Delegation to Jordan.

“We will contribute to creating jobs and supporting the economies”, added Moyer during the Regional Stakeholders Event hosted on Monday 20 February by SPARK, a Dutch non-governmental organization (NGO) focusing on job creation in the MENA region. More than 130 participants representing twenty-five organizations from Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia and Palestine joined SPARK’s Regional Stakeholders Event in Amman Marriott Hotel.

Discussions focused on how startups can access new markets and export their goods and services. They also focused on how policy frameworks can create an enabling environment for startups, and how they can attract more foreign investment. During the conference, governments, business support organizations, startup incubators, and accelerators shared ideas for overcoming policy-related challenges and discussed ways to boost innovative startups and internationalize existing companies.

“SPARK is a unique international NGO, as we are able to bring together all of the stakeholders in the startup ecosystem”, said Mourad Hentati, Regional Programme Director for SPARK, an international NGO which aims to promote digitalization and green transformation of economies in developing countries in cooperation with local organizations.

“From Innovation to Creation programme, funded by the European Union, allows to strengthen the innovation ecosystem and enables stakeholders to cooperate and share best practices”, stated Aurelien Pastouret, Programme Manager, at DG NEAR – European Commission. “The European Union is working on a green economy package in cooperation with business support organizations to provide support through green skills development and tailored capacity enhancement”, he added.

Mohammed Musleh from the Palestinian Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Empowerment (MoEE) said “startups should be able to move freely within the Levant to access the diversified set of experience that each country brings and access new markets. Such free movement is key to tackling challenges related to integrating the workforce, building allies across borders, and bringing the region together. In addition to market integration, the MoEE is implementing an end-to-end strategy to develop the Palestinian innovation-driven entrepreneurship sector, he added.

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