2018 Startup Nations Ministerial Declaration

Startup Nations Ministerial



WE, the government representatives from Argentina, Bahrain, Benin, Brazil, Cambodia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Paraguay, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Taiwan, The Gambia, Turkey, Uzbekistan as well as the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW)

RECALLING that the Startup Nations Ministerial in Istanbul builds on three pilot meetings of ministers held in Milan (2015), Medellin (2016) and Johannesburg (2017)

CONFIRMING the imperative of a high-level dialogue among policy leaders and entrepreneurship policy experts about how public-sector agencies across the world can encourage entrepreneurial growth

RECOGNIZING the increased contribution of ‘high growth firms’ for the generation of output and employment in advanced and developing economies

ACKNOWLEDGING that ‘high growth firms’ are often more productive, innovative and integrated with global markets -- creating positive spillovers and hiring higher skilled workers and managers

ADMITTING, however, that ‘high growth firms’ are often episodic and short-lived, particularly in developing countries, being found in all major sectors of activity, and geographies

CONSIDERING that ‘high growth firms’ are very hard to predict -- being in some cases an outcome of distortions or idiosyncratic demand shocks rather than indicative of intrinsically good performers     

Hereby DECLARE that we will:

  1. Continue to improve market conditions for efficient entry and expansion of potentially ‘high growth firms’ by:
    • Nurturing vibrant entrepreneurial and innovation eco-systems, including by promoting policies to strengthen entrepreneur’s and firms’ capabilities to explore the opportunities offered by emerging disruptive technologies; and
    • Eliminating obstacles to efficient exit of less productive firms, including rationalizing the use of SME policies, other measures to support the enterprise sector and the insolvency regime.
  2. Strengthen the state capacity to design, implement and evaluate policies to foster the emergence of ‘high growth firms’, including by promoting evidence-based policy and collecting firm level data.
  3. Seek ways to promote a systematic knowledge exchange among governments, private sector, academic communities and practitioners on the impact of ‘high growth firms’ and the policies to encourage their emergence, especially in developing countries.
  4. Seek to regather in a year at the Startup Nations Ministerial 2019 to evaluate progress on these goals.



Startup Nations Ministerial​ Declaration​ 2018 Signatories​ (in country alphabetical order):

Mr. Mariano Mayer
Secretary of Entrepreneurs and SMEs

Mr. Zayed R. Alzayani
Minister of Industry and Commerce

Mr. Modeste Kerekou
Minister of SMEs and Employment Promotion

Mr. Igor Nazareth
Deputy Secretary of Innovation & New Businesses, Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade & Services

Mr. Kan Channmeta
Secretary of State Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications

Mr. Juan Carlos Garavito
Director General, iNNpulsa

Mr. Jose Checo
Director of Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Industry & Commerce
Dominican Republic

Mr. Nathaniel Leinoi Taama 
Charge d' Affaires a.i, Kenya Embassy Ankara

Mr. Victor Gonzalez
Chief of Staff, National Institute for Entrepreneurs

Ms. Aisha Abubakar
Minister of Trade and Investment

Dr. Idelin Molinas
Executive Secretary, National Council for Science & Technology (CONACYT)

Mr. Adrian Curaj
General Director, Funding Agency for Research and Innovation

Mr. Saleh Alrasheed
Governor, SME General Authority
Saudi Arabia

Ms. Lindiwe Zulu
Minister of Small Business Development
South Africa 

Ms. Pei-Ti Hu
Deputy Director General of SMEA, Ministry of Economic Affairs

Mr. Lamin Dampha
Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment
The Gambia

Mr. Lüfti Elvan
Minister of Development

Mr. Bekzod Hamzaev
Deputy Minister, Ministry of Innovative Development

Ms. Kristin Schreiber
Director, EU Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises & SMEs
European Commission