Enterprise development

Fostering future entrepreneurs in the Arab States

Know About Business (KAB) is the ILO’s flagship entrepreneurship education and training programme. KAB’s main objectives are to:
  • Develop positive attitudes towards enterprises and self-employment among youth;
  • create awareness of enterprises and self-employment as a career option for young people; and
  • provide knowledge and practical experience related to the attributes and challenges inherent to starting and operating a successful and sustainable enterprise that produces a decent work environment for workers; and
  • prepare beneficiaries to work productively in SMEs.
In 2006, the ILO Regional Office for Arab States developed an Arabic version of the KAB programme. This version was revised following a number of pilot tests in the Arab region to produce the 2014 version in which concepts on gender and people with disabilities have been incorporated. New topics on Decent Work, social entrepreneurship and greening enterprises have also been added to the package.

The KAB programme has so far been implemented in over 55 countries worldwide, eight of which are in the Arab States namely Syria, Oman, Iraq, Lebanon, the oPt, Yemen, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The programme and its successful implementation in the region has informed and impacted policy in several Arab countries. To date, KAB has been integrated in the national curricula of Syria, Oman, the oPt and Yemen.

The Mubadara programme

Mubadara, or initiative in Arabic, is a newly developed business start-up programme targeting youth graduates enrolled in higher education institutions. The main objectives of the programme are to:
  • Equip youth with entrepreneurial skills and attitudes essential at the personal and business levels; and
  • provide youth with fundamental business skills and tools to plan for as well as establish a sustainable and successful enterprise.
The implementation of the Mubadara programme in Yemen, under the project “Integrated Support for Young Women and Men in Yemen to Access Decent Work” was launched in July 2013 and included:
  • An awareness raising workshop with the ILO’s national counterpart in Yemen, Small and Micro Enterprise Promotion Service, along with other project partners, namely Al Tadhamon Bank and Al Kuraimi Bank; 
  • a Training of Trainers workshop that targeted 26 instructors and professors from eight selected universities and two members from financial institutions; and
  • a pilot implementation of the programme in eight universities.
Mubadara’s future activities include a business plan competition to provide potential entrepreneurs with the chance to pitch their business plans and receive prizes after receiving support through coaching and securing other sources of financing.