Building Government-Startup Alliances [Pic of the Week]

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Entrepreneurs and governments are often at odds, leery of working with each other and afraid to reach out to build an uncommon alliance. But both sectors do have something to offer the other and there is no reason the two should be opposed.

As startups continue to sprout and grow throughout the MENA region, it becomes increasingly clear that governments have a huge influence on the attractiveness of the startup ecosystems in their countries. Some states are friendlier in their fees, taxes, infrastructure, tools, and partnerships with young businesses and thus startups often flock to places with the most welcoming and nurturing ecosystem.

New businesses provide a boost to local economies and, by being a hub for startups, countries can boost their economy as a whole.

A new report by Booz & Compaany shows that governments have the opportunity within the digital revolution to engage more fully with their constituents and develop friendly and attractive policies for entrepreneurs in their country. Social media gives governments the medium and ability to interact with and address the needs of constituents in new ways. 

Governments must figure out how to best interact with and attract new startups to the local ecosystem by building new alliances and trust with local entrepreneurs.

This week, Lebanon’s Ministry of Telecommunication partnered with Zein Real Estate (ZRE) and Berytech to launch the Beirut Digital District, a project that is creating a unique space to host accelerators, incubators, and startups to leverage government, organizations, and corporate funding to create jobs. Such a project is a great model of an alliance between the public and private sectors designed to create a “tide that raises all ships” and bring benefit to the startup ecosystem as well as to the government’s constituents – a win-win scenario.

Wamda will be interviewing Lebanese telecom Minister Nicholas Sehnaoui live on Twitter this coming Friday, the 7th of September, at 7pm to discuss the new space. Tune in to see how this public-private partnership is pioneering new alliances across sectors to meet shared goals.

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