Today marked the launch of the first Business Support Centre in Yemen, supported by UNDP, in partnership with the Yemeni Business Club (YBC) and Spark. The launch, which was attended by representatives from the private sector, NGOs, the Social Fund for Development, UNDP and Spark, successfully outlined the importance of private sector development for resilience and inclusive growth.
“Despite the current situation, we are very committed to continue supporting youth employment through the setup of the Business Support Centre. It is our role, as private sector members, to support our country at such critical times,” said Mr. Fathi Abdulwase, Chairman of YBC during his opening remarks. Mr. Firas Deeb, Spark Country Manager, recalled the common achievement. “We have worked hard during the last six months to bring this unique Centre to Yemen”, he added.
The center will bridge main challenges faced by young entrepreneurs in Yemen: access to information and advisory/coaching services to support their difficult journeys and the sustainability of their businesses. To be first established in Sana’a, UNDP hopes to further support the operationalization of similar Business Support Centres in Taiz and Aden where demand is high.
Spark, YBC and UNDP celebrating the first Yemen Business Support Center in Sana’a (Ms. Mikiko Tanaka, UNDP Country Director, in middle)
“Entrepreneurs can transform crises into opportunities,” said Ms. Mikiko Tanaka, UNDP Country Director, “we must support their innovative ideas for Yemen, to generate decent employment for motivated youth amidst current uncertainties.”
The center will provide a range of services tailored to aspiring and existing Yemeni businesswomen and men based on international best practice. These will encompass consultation services, mentoring, liaison between different entities to remove barriers, facilitate access to necessary finance, and provide a safe space for networking.
This initiative is supported by UNDP’s Youth Economic Empowerment Programme (YEEP). YEEP currently positively impacts on the lives of over 820,000 youth across Yemen with enhanced employability and entrepreneurship to strengthen self-reliance and improved incomes across Sana’a, Taiz, Aden, Hajjah, Hodeidah, Saada, Hadramout, and Abyan.