Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW Belarus) kicks off today in Belarus until 18 November, a key event for entrepreneurs and start-ups in the country, co-organised for the fourth year by the Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus.
This year the events of the week will be held with the support of the Government of Belarus and will be aimed at creating and shaping a favourable business environment, enabling meetings between businesses and world-class experts as well as discussions, looking for new ideas and developing business contacts.
The key event of the week will be the Exhibition-Forum GEW Belarus, which will be held on 13-14 November in the halls of the BelExpo National Exhibition Centre. This year, the Exhibition-Forum will be a platform for innovative companies that are ready to present their ideas to the international community and the state at the highest level. The involvement of young people in entrepreneurship, support for women's business initiatives, inclusion in entrepreneurship and innovation for business will be discussed.
Exhibition stands will be divided into following sections: Financial Technologies, Investments, Innovations, Business Support, Education for Business, Technologies for Business and Technical Communities.
The partners of Global Entrepreneurship Week in Belarus are USAID, the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Belarus, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the British Embassy in Belarus.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Deputy Minister of Economy Dmitry Matusevich said that on the occasion of GEW Belarus the government would sign a document with the EU and UNDP launching a new regional development project in 2019: “The project will affect 12 districts of Belarus,” he said. “The amount of funding is serious - up to half a million euros per district. As part of this document, if it goes through all the procedures and starts working in early 2019, each district will be able to implement a number of initiatives related to supporting infrastructure, business, social entrepreneurship and other areas,” Matusevich added.
The establishment of a guarantee fund for small and medium private companies will also be discussed during Global Entrepreneurship Week, according to Olga Shcherbina, the head of the International Finance Corporation representative office in Belarus.
Belarus is now home to about 350,000 micro, small, and medium businesses as well as self-employed businessmen. These businesses need financial support among other things, said Shcherbina.
She said there were plans to discuss new instruments, which will allow Belarusian SMEs to get access to finance, at a panel session to be held as part of GEW Belarus on 13 November. “In particular, together with the Belarusian Fund for the Financial Support of Entrepreneurship we are going to discuss the establishment of a guarantee fund in Belarus,” said the IFC representative.