April 3, 2015

Celebrating first Business Support Centre in Yemen

Congratulations to all SPARK members for the first Business Support Centre opening in Yemen!


On March 12th alongside the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Yemeni Business Club (YBC), SPARK opened the Business Support Centre (BSC) in Sana’a. SPARK  and  UNDP  saw  the  importance  of  establishing  the  BSC  in  order  to  provide  support  to  youth entrepreneurs who have not been able to transition into the market  with  their  new  businesses,  or have risked losing  them altogether. The introductory opening aimed to introduce the BSC to attending stakeholders and explore potential for future cooperation. Meanwhile, SPARK is in the process of preparing a more official opening ceremony mid April pending the current political and security situation in Yemen.

The opening of this centre will help ambitious young entrepreneurs to realise their business ideas by equipping them with effective managerial skills and guiding them on how to run their business. The BSC is set up to support and train young entrepreneurs in different business administration fields so they will be qualified and able to run their own business ventures successfully which in turn will  further the economic, political and social improvements in Yemen.

The centre will guide and support young entrepreneurs from the start up and throughout the growth stages of their business. Certified BSC business development experts will divide the 68 youth participants into two groups to facilitate the induction training process. Each entrepreneur receives five months of mentoring and/or coaching sessions with an average of 30 hours per month. During the mentoring/coaching sessions each business will undergo an advisory process that begins with a troubleshoot approach that will follow with a series of customised mentoring/coaching sessions. Mentors will then direct the entrepreneurs to SPARK approved Microfinance Institutions (MFI’s) in order to access loans to grow their businesses.  This stage will be assessed and determined on a need bases.

The introductory opening of the BSC was saturated with speeches. The Chairman of the YBC Fathi Abdulwase opened the ceremony with a charming 15 minute speech embellished with humour, targeting the youth by sharing motivational and inspiring success stories of businessmen in Yemen. Supported by the UNDP, the country director Mikiko Tanaka expressed, “I am very happy for reaching this achievement and that this cooperation will help in decreasing unemployment and will provide opportunities for youth in Yemen”.

The launch has hit the ground running as SPARK’s country manager Firas Deeb pointed out that the BSC has already started operating, concentrating on young entrepreneurs. During his speech Firas added that “despite the difficult situation in Yemen SPARK will continue implementing its projects and longs to indeed reach all the objectives of the centre”. Ahmed Noor Al-Deen, the executive director of the BSC celebrated the fact that the Business Support Centre marks the first centre ever to be established in Yemen providing such services and support to young entrepreneurs.

The opening heightened the excitement felt by the partners and stakeholders in supporting the implementation of the BSC in Yemen. This centre will help many young entrepreneurs manage and develop their businesses effectively and help secure their future. The event was a joyous occasion where all participants expressed hopes for further collaboration, and more importantly, their optimism for the future of the BSC and the positive effects it will have on the lives of young entrepreneurs in Yemen.

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