Startup Nations Ministerial Features Discussions from 32 Different Economies, Explores Entrepreneurship Policy Challenges, Success Stories
Cristina A.
23 Apr 2019

Manama, Bahrain – During the 2019 Global Entrepreneurship Congress, the World Bank and the Global Entrepreneurship Network gathered more than 182 public policy stakeholders for the Startup Nations Ministerial – a high-level gathering of authorities responsible for supporting new and young businesses,  

The 2019 Ministerial is the fifth edition of the discussion, and featured official delegations from 32 different economies, led by cabinet-level officials, ministers and government agency directors. The World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Nesta, Startup Genome and the Kauffman Foundation leadership also participated in the event as knowledge partners.  

The Ministerial included a discussion on lessons learned by different governments in terms of policy implementation challenges, out-of-the-box policy ideas, focusing on the latest approaches to dealing with regulatory challenges, data-based insights from new analyses of experiments in entrepreneurship support, life-science entrepreneurs and what works in promoting women’s entrepreneurship. The agenda was prepared with input from the Startup Nations Steering Committee formed by six national governments (Argentina, Bahrain, India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand) and the European Commission. 

While the authorities highlighted evidence on what works, they focused just as importantly on a candid exchange on what doesn’t work in previously implemented policy levers from around the world. The Ministerial is designed for high-level officials to have frank discussions, and the conversation around failed initiatives builds trust, and through experience-sharing, helps governments avoid similar hurdles.  

Heads of government delegations included:  

  • H.E. Mariano Mayer, Secretary of Entrepreneurs & SMEs, Argentina 

  • H.E. Mr. Zayed R. Alzayani, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Kingdom of Bahrain 

  • H.E. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Minister for Information and Communication Technology, Bangladesh 

  • H.E. Modeste Kerekou, Minister of SMEs and Employment Promotion of Benin 

  • H.E. Wayne Furbert, Junior Minister of Finance, Bermuda 

  • Mr. Igor Nazareth, Undersecretary for Innovation, Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services, Brazil  

  • H.E. Channmeta Kan, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPTC), Cambodia 

  • H.E. Achille Bassilekin III, Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises, of Social Economy and Handicrafts, Cameroon 

  • Mr. Felipe Buitrago Restrepo, Presidential Counsellor on Economic and Strategic Affairs, and Mr. Ignacio Gaitan, President of Innpulsa, Colombia 

  • H.E. Yvonne Adélaïde, Minister of SMEs & Artisans, Republic of Congo 

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

  • Mr. Viljar Lubi, Deputy Secretary General for Economic Development, Estonia 

  • H.E. Lasha Mikava, Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Georgia 

  • Sir Joe Bossano MP, Minister for Economic Development, Telecommunications and the Savings Bank, Gibraltar 

  • Dr. László Korányi, Strategic Advisor, Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Former President, National Innovation Office, Hungary 

  • H.E. Ramesh Abishek, Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce, India 

  • Dr. Marco Bellezza, Advisor for Digital Innovation and Communication of the Italian Minister for Economic Development, Italy 

  • H.E. Redzuan Yusof, Minister of Entrepreneur Development, Malaysia 

  • H.E. Mohamed Iaad Hameed, Minister of State for Economic Development, Republic of Maldives 

  • H.E. Christian Cardona, Minister for the Economy Investment and Small Businesses, Malta  

  • H.E. Soomilduth Sunil Bholah, Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mauritius  

  • H.E. Matrika Prasad Yadav, Minister of Industry Commerce and Supplies, Nepal 

  • H.E. Aisha Abubakar, Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, Nigeria 

  • H.E. Dr. Ahmed Al Ghassani, CEO, Public Authority for SMEs Development, Oman 

  • H.E. Tadeusz Koscinski, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Entrepreneurship & Technology, Poland 

  • Mr. Ousmane Thiongane, Special Adviser to the President for Digital Affairs, Senegal 

  • Ms. Angelique Antat, Principal Secretary to the Department of Industry and Entrepreneurship Development, Seychelles 

  • Mr. Linton Mchunu, Chief of Staff of the Minister of Small Business Development, South Africa 

  • H.E. Oshik Mohamed Ahmed Taher, Secretary General of the National Investment Authority, Minister of State, Republic of Sudan 

  • H.E. Mrs. Pattrawan Vechasart, Ambassador attached to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand 

  • H.E. Abdulla AlSaleh, Undersecretary, Ministry of Economy, United Arab Emirates 

  • Mr. David M. Glaccum, Associate Administrator for International Trade, Small Business Administration, The United States 

  • Mr. Ali Khamis Juma, Deputy Principal Secretary, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Zanzibar 


Observers included: 

  • Ms. Tatiana Krylova, Head, Enterprise Branch, Division on Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD  

  • Mr. Andrew Madeswi,  Chief Operations Officer from CEDA, Botswana 

  • Mr. Judicael Elidje, Deputy Representative of the United Nations Fund for Population in Chad 

  • Mr. Oral Shaw, Principal Director, Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture  Fisheries, Jamaica 

  • Mr. Theodore Klouvas, Programme Manager for Entrepreneurship in Africa and the Middle East of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, The Netherlands 

  • Ms. Salima Bah, Technical Lead of the DSTI Ease of Doing Business Team, Sierra Leone     

  • Mr. Nael Islam, Regional Group Director, Enterprise Singapore 

  • Mr. Kutlu Karavelioğlu, Turkish Exporters Assembly, Turkey 

  • Mr. Bunyodbek Bakhrombekov, First Deputy Chairman of the Central Council of Youth Union of Uzbekistan 

  • Mr. Angel Alvarado, Congressman, Venezuela 

  • Mr. Pham Trung Nghia, Commercial Counsellor, Embassy of Vietnam 

Cristina A. Fernandez

Vice President for Policy + Research | Global Entrepreneurship Network

Cristina Fernández focuses on integrating public officials into startup ecosystems across the world, creating platforms for them to exchange ideas… More

Sarolta Borzási

Director for Government + Investor Engagement | Global Entrepreneurship Network

Sarolta's work focuses on building relationships between public policy experts around the world via Startup Nations network and managing… MORE