Press Releases

IFC, WEF Partner to Support Entrepreneurship in MENA

In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa

Phone: +(202) 2461-4230


Davos, Switzerland, January 17, 2017—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the World Economic Forum (WEF) signed today an agreement designed to support entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The partnership is part of an effort by IFC to spur economic growth and bolster the skills of youth in MENA, where nearly one in three young people are jobless.

Signed by Klaus Schwab, the executive chairman of the WEF, and Philippe Le Houérou, the CEO of IFC, the agreement will see the two organizations help young entrepreneurs forge relationships with business leaders, senior government officials, and representatives of international institutions.

IFC and the WEF will also promote a dialogue about the challenges facing startups, which often struggle to get the advice and financing they need to thrive. The two institutions will also provide an opportunity for 100 young entrepreneurs to attend the WEF regional summit in Jordan this May, where they'll receive training on how to start and manage a business.

The partnership with the WEF is part of a wider effort by IFC to support entrepreneurship and skills development in MENA. During the last two years, IFC has provided close to $50 million in funding to technology companies and startups in the region, while working in tandem with leading accelerators and venture funds like Wamda, Flat6Labs, and Algebra Ventures. IFC is also working with other development agencies and private education providers to equip students with the skills they need to find work in a fast-changing labor market.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY16, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $19 billion, leveraging our capital, expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit

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