The new “Deraya1 – دِرَايَــة Entrepreneurship Initiative” for young entrepreneurs seeks to build a dynamic ecosystem of innovative entrepreneurs and startups in Libya.
Young entrepreneurs in Libya face many challenges, including accessing markets and financial resources, and navigating regulations and administrative procedures. The Deraya initiative is designed to equip entrepreneurs with the essential know-how to turn innovative ideas into successful startups. The initiative was jointly developed by the Ministry of Local Government (MoLG), and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in collaboration with the European Union (EU) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Targeting youth and vulnerable groups, Deraya is open to innovative and aspiring entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 35. Through interactive webinars, the initiative’s participants will be given an opportunity to engage with experienced entrepreneurs, subject matter experts, and role models from Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia and learn from their success stories, wealth of knowledge, and expertise. The initiative will also entail startup weekends in Tripoli, Benghazi, Sebha, and Derna, culminating with a pitch competition where the winning startups will receive financial support, financed by EU and AfDB, to further develop, grow, and take their business ideas to the next level. As a critical step towards sustainability, entrepreneurs will be linked to the municipal business incubators being set up with MoLG with UNDP’s technical support.
Commenting on the launch of the programme, Dr. Bader Al-Deen Al-Tomi, Minister of Local Government, said: “The Deraya initiative plays a pivotal role in the Ministry of Local Government’s strategy to develop entrepreneurship and micro-enterprises at the local level, empower municipalities economically, and provide job opportunities in line with Law 592 and Resolution 15003. We are delighted to work towards these goals in cooperation with our international partners, EU, AfDB and UNDP.”
EU Ambassador Mr. José Sabadell added: “Libya’s economic prosperity will be driven by young entrepreneurs with innovative, forward-looking ideas. They will be the key to a more diversified Libyan economy, a strong private sector and new jobs. Together with our Libyan and international partners, the European Union therefore seeks to offer strong and concrete support to young Libyan entrepreneurs, to realise their business ideas.”
Mr Mohamed El Azizi, Regional Director for North Africa at the African Development Bank, further commented: “Private sector development is key to boosting economic diversification and job creation in Libya. Supporting the trajectory of young Libyan men and women to develop and grow their start-ups has enormous socio-economic potential and will contribute to job creation. It is also important to ensure an adequate business enabling environment and institutional support. The EEYES project, financed by the AfDB through the Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Multidonor Trust Fund, and implemented by UNDP, supports these components.”
UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Marc-André Franche, said: “Libya has a new generation of young people, women and men, , with promising capacity and big ambitions. The country has the potential to be one of the biggest entrepreneurial ecosystems in North Africa, and through the Deraya programme, UNDP seek to help inspire and provide young entrepreneurs with the necessary resources and assets to realise growth and innovation.”
The Deraya programme is part of UNDP’s Local Peacebuilding and Resilience efforts in partnership with MoLG, aimed at creating socio-economic opportunities for youth and vulnerable groups to promote sustainable growth in Libya, including the establishment of the first Municipality-led business incubator (https://apo-opa.info/3C2SOf1) and the TEC+ Accelerator programme (https://apo-opa.info/3oANCMa).
The Deraya initiative, co-funded by AfDB and EU, is designed and implemented in collaboration with a consortium consisting of Flat6Labs (https://www.Flat6Labs.com/), Tatweer Research (https://TatweerResearch.org/) and MAZAM (https://apo-opa.info/3WUSWHf), bringing in years of experience and specialized knowledge in helping young entrepreneurs launch successful ventures in both the Middle East&Africa regions.
UNDP supports Libya’s transition towards peace, economic recovery, and sustainable development to help the country get on a more robust development path by supporting local authorities to restore essential services delivery and livelihood opportunities and promote peaceful co-existence. Job creation for youth is at the heart of UNDP’s local Peacebuilding efforts. This initiative is part of UNDP’s “Environment towards youth entrepreneurship support and positive migration governance project (EEYES)” programme financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the Strengthening Local Capacity for Resilience and Recovery Project funded by the North of Africa Window of the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Stability which contributes to addressing the root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa (EUTF – NOA). The Deraya initiative is implemented in partnership with Flat6Labs, Tatweer and Mazam.