The Arab Open University, the Arab Urban Development Institute, the Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND), and Kuwait Banking Association, will organize a regional conference under the title of "Development of micro and small enterprises in the Arab countries", as part of the efforts to overcome the economic problems faced by most of the Arab countries, as these projects take in a large part of the labor force, and contribute high rates to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Conference will be held from (27 – 29) October, 2015, at the headquarters of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development in Kuwait City, and it will focus on the study of the challenges facing the development of these projects, which are essential supply to the economic and social development, and a key contributor to increasing the family income, improving their standard of living, reducing unemployment, and alleviating poverty. It also focuses on the study of leading experiences in the development of institutional and comprehensive support for them, including the establishment of banks for the poor, villages’ banks, and banks to finance the micro, small, and medium-sized projects, in order to recognize the reality of these projects in the Arab countries and others, and exchange expertise and experiences for the purpose of development and empowerment and ensuring their success, in the framework of the concept of financial integration to provide comprehensive services to the target groups, to determine the role of legislation in the advancement of women, and to contribute to the networking of institutions working in the field of institutional support. The Conference will discuss a number of themes, taking into account the issue of women's empowerment and the poor categories, minorities, youth, and the historical and cultural context for each country or economic area. The first axis deals with enabling environment and legislation, identifying the role of national strategies in the development of these projects, and the role of the State and the private sector in building the enabling environment to them, municipalities, chambers of commerce, and urging them to pay attention to the productive families. The second axis deals with financing systems and services and the role of public financial institutions specialized in providing comprehensive financial services to the target groups. The third axis discusses the business development services including supporting the administrative and technical capabilities, consultation, marketing, acquisition of technology, and infrastructure. The conference will discuss the following subjects in four other axes; leadership development, networking, assembly, sub-contracting, adoption systems of large enterprises, the role of business incubators, and the role of the organizations of small businesses and chambers of commerce and industry. During the conference, along with the workshops, two training workshops will be held; the first one is entitled "How to prepare the economic feasibility study for small and medium enterprises", and the other one is entitled "Empowering Arab women in small business management".
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