Conflict and Fragility

Expert meeting on Youth Entrepreneurship Development in Conflict-Affected Environments
Europe/Amsterdam 01 2013 13:00
Bron: Spark: Ayah Mlatat - Alokhwah Sheep Farm, Occupied Palestinian Territories

Together with the NGO Spark and under the auspices of the Knowledge Platform Security and Rule of Law, the Conflict Research Unit organises an expert meeting on Youth Entrepreneurship Development in Conflict-Affected Environments on Wednesday, September 18th 2013 in The HUB, Amsterdam.

The organizers share the belief that the creation of economic opportunities for young women and men in fragile environments can contribute to social cohesion and peace. Lessons learnt in different post-conflict regions add to the growing evidence that youth entrepreneurship can act as a driver of trust within local communities and build legitimacy for governments.
Yet, theories of change linking youth entrepreneurship development to peace encounter a number of dilemmas:
• Who are the (future) entrepreneurs who bear the most potential for economic success?
• How can much needed “quick wins” interventions for youth in the immediate aftermath of violent conflict be linked to sustainable and inclusive private sector development?
The purpose of the expert meeting is to discuss these dilemmas from different perspectives and to jointly develop practical approaches to address them. To do so, the event will bring together experts in the field of youth entrepreneurship development in conflict affected environments including development practitioners, entrepreneurs, policy makers and researchers.  


13.00 Welcome by Yannick du Pont
Director SPARK & Steering Group member of the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law
Dilemma 1: Targeting Entrepreneurs: based on vulnerability and risk or economic potential?
13.10 Keynote speech by Mr. Tarik Yousef (Silatech)
13.25 Entrepreneurs panel
13.40 Breakout session
14.25 Presentation of results
14.40 Coffee / tea
Dilemma 2: Quick impact versus long-term development: how can local partners and youth entrepreneurs be empowered to bridge that gap?
14.55 Keynote by Mr. Magdi Amin (IFC)
15.10 Entrepreneurs panel
15.25 Breakout session
16.10 Presentation of results
16.25 Final debate and concluding remarks
17.00 Drinks!

The seminar will be moderated by Marije Balt (SpringFactor)

Organisations and Guest Speakers

Tarik M. Yousef
Tarik Mohamed Yousef was appointed in 2011 as Chief Executive Officer of Silatech, a regional initiative that promotes job creation, entrepreneurship, access to capital and markets, and the participation and engagement of young people in economic and social development. Tarik began his career in 1997 as an economist at the International Monetary Fund, and joined the faculty of Georgetown University in 1999, where he held the positions of Associate Professor of Economics in the School of Foreign Service and Sheikh Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah Chair of Arab Studies at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. Between 2006 and 2010, he served as the Founding Dean of the Dubai School of Government and nonresident Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He co-founded the Middle East Youth Initiative at the Brookings Institution in 2007, where he has since served as nonresident Senior Fellow.

Magdi M. Amin
Magdi M. Amin is the Principal Economist, Office of Executive Vice President & CEO at the International Finance Corporation. Since joining the World Bank Group as a Young Professional in 1988, Magdi has held positions in East Asia & Pacific, Africa and MENA. Magdi assumed the role of Manager of Investment Climate Advisory Services in October 2010, based in Cairo, just in time for the revolution. His focus thus far has been on responding to the underlying economic causes of the Arab Spring by removing regulatory obstacles to entrepreneurial business including social entrepreneurship, strengthening bankruptcy systems, and helping to launch the Education for Employment Initiative to Arab Youth. His degrees are from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School and Johns Hopkins SAIS.


SPARK is an independent international development organisation with about 80 staff members in offices in South-east Europe, Middle-East and Africa. SPARK develops higher education and entrepreneurship to empower young, ambitious people to lead their post-conflict societies into prosperity. SPARK is determined to increase the number of sustainable jobs and economic prospects for youth in fragile and conflict affected regions through the improvement of higher education and development of the local private sector.


This expert meeting was partly made possible by the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law. The Knowledge Platform aims to build a bridge between global issues and Dutch expertise on security and rule of law, and to contribute to international knowledge, policy development and implementation, both in fragile and conflict-affected environments and in the Netherlands. To achieve this, the platform brings together the most qualified academics, policy-makers, civil society organizations and companies from around the world. Through this work the Knowledge Platform aims to make international efforts in the field of security and rule of law more effective.