MoLG, EU and UNDP establish the first-ever Municipality led Business Incubator in the heart of Tripoli
By UNDP Libya.
9 February 2023, Tripoli – Construction works launched in Tripoli for the first-ever municipality-led business incubator: Isnaed (The Arabic word إِسْنَاد / Isnaed translates to ‘support’ or ‘backing’ each other) – Tripoli Center Business Incubator Building. The Centre will offer shared workspaces and business development services for entrepreneurs, start-ups and organizations.
Three female architects of the Tripoli Center Municipality spearheaded an inspiring and spacious design for the first Isnaed Business Incubator, led by Tripoli Municipality and located on Al Mansoura Street in the heart of Tripoli. With construction expected to conclude in the third quarter of 2023, the Business Incubator will offer an enabling environment for entrepreneurs, start-ups and creative businesses to develop business ideas in shared working spaces, and take advantage of onsite business development services, assistance in registration, tailored business courses, as well as access to networks, markets and finance opportunities. The name ‘Isnad’ was collaboratively chosen through a discussion between the Ministry of Local Governance (MoLG), the Municipality, local communities, and youth, and symbolizes the entrepreneurial spirit and unifying vision of the building.
The Isnaed Business Incubator is a bold step towards decentralization and enhanced coordination between municipalities, the private sector, civil society, and the central government. It symbolises of hope and progress for the citizens of Tripoli and beyond.
“The MoLG issued a Resolution (regarding the creation of Business Incubators and Accelerators (BIAs) issued in 2021) guaranteeing the right of municipalities to establish business incubators and SMEs, which will be the first step to support young people in obtaining job opportunities in the private sector. Additionally, the MoLG is leading international cooperation efforts, seeking the cooperation of international partners, including the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to promote stability and local development,” said Minister of Local Government, Dr Bader Al-Deen Al-Tomi.
The Mayor of Tripoli Center, Mr. Ibrahim Alkhalify, expressed enthusiasm for the Municipality-led incubator model established by the MoLG. “The Municipality of Tripoli Center, in close partnership with the UNDP, and with support from the EU, is implementing one of the most crucial projects to promote innovation and growth of SMEs and helping to shape a new development reality at the local level. Thus, this project is of utmost importance for the Municipality.”
The MoLG and the Municipality of Tripoli Center jointly developed the innovative concept for a business incubator led entirely by the municipality. The initiative is supported with technical assistance from the European Union-funded project for “Strengthened Local Capacity for Resilience and Recovery”, implemented in cooperation with UNDP.
“Libyans have shown outstanding creativity and resilience in realizing start-up ideas over the past years, including some very innovative and forward-looking projects for a greener economy. Business incubators offer them the necessary assistance so they can focus on their core business and connect with partners and new markets. The EU is proud to support entrepreneurs and innovation in Libya.” said EU Ambassador José Sabadell.
UNDP Resident Representative, Marc-Andre Franche, also expressed his appreciation for the initiative: “The Incubator is the perfect platform for entrepreneurs to take their ideas and turn them into successful businesses. We are proud to be a part of this initiative and to work closely with the Ministry of Local Government to create a vibrant and thriving business landscape in Libya. For this, we are grateful to the EU for the continuous support to foster job creation and entrepreneurship in Libya for hundreds of youth, which remains at the heart of our Local Peacebuilding efforts across Libya.”
Moreover, to create sustainable mechanisms for boosting entrepreneurship, UNDP is working with the MoLG and its Office of Entrepreneurship and Business Incubators to establish a national team for business incubators and SMEs. The team will be led by the MoLG and aims to strengthen coordination among relevant government entities, in line with its resolution 1500 regarding the creation of Business Incubators and Accelerators (BIAs) issued in 2021.
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 the Strengthened Local Capacity for Resilience and Recovery Project funded by the European Union.