5th MENAinc Workshop Regional Collaboration for Entrepreneurship Development in MENA countrie Shaping the Future through Innovation and Entrepreneurship

October 21-24, 2007 in Bahrain





The core objective of the 5th MENAinc Workshop “Shaping the Future through Innovation and Entrepreneurship” is to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa by strengthening regional collaboration. The event will seek to:


  • Raise Awareness about the role of innovation and entrepreneurship for economic development and competitiveness,
  • Provide information on business incubation as a tool for fostering and strengthening innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Intensify knowledge exchange within MENAinc and with other networks on good practices in business incubation
  • Expand the MENAinc network by attracting and integrating new members
  • Provide training to incubator managers

 Background MENAinc

(www.idisc/mena ) is a network of incubator professionals in the Middle East and North Africa.The Network was founded in Amman, Jordan, with support from infoDev.infoDev is a multi-donor program that manages a network of 70+ incubators in 50 countries, and provides an action learning program on ICT-enabled innovation and entrepreneurship (www.infodev.org/businessincubation  ).Today MENAinc has 15 members from 8 countries. The 5th MENAinc Workshop “Shaping the Future through Innovation and Entrepreneurship” is a continuation of a regional collaboration process that was began with the Casablanca workshop (January 2005) and continued in Hyderabad (November 2006), Amman (January 2007), and Tunis (May 2007)

 Conference Topics

With the aims described above the main topics of the Bahrain conference will be:


  • Effective Regulatory and Policy Frameworks for promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Supporting Women entrepreneurship (in Islamic Countries)
  • Financing the start-up and growth of innovative technology based enterprises
  • Implementing effective and sustainable incubator business models
  • Performance monitoring and impact assessment of entrepreneurship programs

 Who can attend

All business incubators, technology parks as well as their stakeholders are invited to attend this conference. Specifically the program is designed for serving the interest of


  • Business incubator and technology park managers
  • Financial institutions active in economic development and SME development financing, e.g. development banks, investment and commercial banks, equity finance institutions, as well as Seed and Venture Capital Funds
  • Authorities and agencies responsible for economic development promotion
  • Policy makers, especially related with business and economic development issues
  • Research
  •  and educational institutionsactively promoting entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurs



This conference is hosted by BBIC, Bahrain Business Incubator Center and infoDev




Bahrain Government and Financial Institutions, Bahrain Development Bank, UNIDO, Arab Center for Entrepreneurship and Investment Training





Please download the regestration form (registration form.doc), fill it and send it either by:




Fax No.: 00973-17465484 


Registration is free.




Oct.20 Saturday

Arrival of Delegates

Welcome Reception



Opening Ceremony

Representatives of Bahrain Government , infoDev, MENAinc

Plenary Session I

Economic Development Promotion through Entrepreneurship and Innovation

What are the lessons gained from developing and implementing tools for innovation and entrepreneurship support in Developing countries? What are the  different approaches and results achieved so far?.

Plenary Session II

Stakeholders in Business Incubation & Entrepreneurship Promotion

Making entrepreneurship support and business incubation programs successful needs cooperation with a wide range of stakeholders. This session will present and discuss the different interests, expectations, roles, and potentials of stakeholders from education, research, industry, finance, and the political sector.  It will further highlight the instruments for business incubator managers for attracting such stakeholders and making them work together. Based on this input and overview workgroups during the following day will allow participants to get a deeper look into the different aspects of this topic and to discuss experiences.


Effective SME Policies and SME Development in the MENA region)

What are the specific needs of entrepreneurs in the region? What is the experience with policies and instruments for entrepreneurship and SME development in the MNA region?.  as well as the role of education and research


Plenary Session III

Financing Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the MENA Region

Financial Institutions have different approaches towards financing innovation and entrepreneurship. This session will present and discuss specific approaches and experiences in countries of the MENA region and thereby provide information and

Plenary Session IV

Success Stories - Business Incubation in the MENA Region

This session will provide an overview on business incubation activities in MENA as well as other regions and present successful examples of business incubators. Presentations will contain information about the success stories as well as issues of high importance for the development of business incubators and technology parks..

Networking Reception & Dinner



Plenary Session V

The Role of Networks for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development

This session will provide information about the networking experience of business incubators in Tunisia as well as other countries and provide an opportunity for discussing the lessons learned and adaptation for MENAinc

Plenary Session VI

MENAinc presentation of projects

Plenary Session VII

Business Incubation Management Tools: Attracting Clients

Successful business incubation management needs a set of tools that are adapted to the specific situation and needs of each individual incubator. This session is aimed at providing information about tools that help raising awareness for entrepreneurship and attracting new clients to an incubator.

Plenary Session VIII

Business Incubation Management Tools: Sustainability

Successful business incubation management needs a set of tools that are adapted to the specific situation and needs of each individual incubator. This session is aimed at providing information about tools that help managing incubators efficiently, monitoring their development and measure their impact.

Oct. 23

For encouraging an intense exchange of information and views between participants the third day will be organized in parallel workgroup sessions. The topics mentioned in the following are samples and will be completed based on the outcome of the MENAinc Project


Plenary Session VIII

The MENAinc Network – Status and Development Perspectives - have a skort intro and go right into working groups

This session will introduce briefly to the results form the MENAinc project and thereby to the topics of the parallel workgroups. This session also will provide information about the actual status of the MENAinc network organization (members, Focal Point, finance etc).


Parallel Workgroup Sessions


The Role and Potential of Stakeholders

·    Presentation of experience incubators made with attracting and managing stakeholders

·    Discussion and conclusions / recommendations

Monitoring and Measuring

·          Presentation of experience incubators made with using management support systems

·          Discussion and conclusions / recommendations

Plenary Session IX

Plenary Session: Presentation & Discussion of Workgroup results

Short reports from the workgroup sessions before will introduce to this session. Discussion will lead to an action plan for the coming months until the following workshop of MENAinc

Summary, Conclusions and Next Steps

The presentations will be followed by a discussion and decision of the next steps.


Closing Ceremony




Training Program for Incubator Managers

Separate registration necessary – contact MENAinc@MENAinc.net