Mapping South-South Cooperation in the Arab States

Arab States

Arab International Center for Entrepreneurship and Investment (AICEI)

Thursday, 25 June 2015 15:14 Written by 
  • Location(s): Bahrain
  • Type(s): Solution
  • Theme(s): Microfinance
  • SDG(s): 8. Decent Work and Economic
  • Locations in the Arab States: Bahrain
  • Types in the Arab States: Solution
  • Themes in the Arab States: Microfinance
  • SDGs in the Arab States: 8. Decent Work and Economic

The AICEI was established in 2000 through a South-South Cooperation between the Bahraini Government and the Indian Government with technical and financial contribution of the Inter-Regional Center for Entrepreneurship & Investment Training (IRC)-India in order to:

  1. Contribute to the economic empowerment of youth and women regionally and internationally
  2. Unleash and stimulate the spirit of entrepreneurship through various awareness and support programs for women and youth
  3. Assist in developing eco-systems for the development of micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs) through capacity building programs, technology transfer, financing and incubation systems
  4. Share and disseminate best practices for the development of value added services to entrepreneurs through local support institutions
  5. Institutionalize business counseling and mentoring programs aimed at facilitating enterprise growth
  6. Developing linkages between financial institutions and entrepreneurship programs
  7. The establishment of business incubator systems that play a key role in the development and growth of MSMEs through a range of services offered.

The AICEI has contributed to conceptualization and development of the UNIDO Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion Program (EDIP) which aims to build the capacities of potential entrepreneurs and assist them in developing their own private businesses. The process is based on a holistic approach that combines building entrepreneurial capabilities with development of skills on enterprise planning, implementation and management. 

The EDIP offers a multifaceted mechanism for addressing needs of business development by assisting to the development of start-up entrepreneurs (Enterprise Creation Program) and upgrading and expanding existing enterprises (Enterprise Growth Program) through the provision of value added services, tools and programs to potential entrepreneurs. The mechanism also facilitates and promotes domestic investment, job creation and a more diversified economy. 

Due to the EDIP modality the AICEI has succeeded in achieving the followings:

  • Unleashing entrepreneurship through creating awareness on entrepreneurship development in schools and universities.
  • Establishment and functioning of an eco-system that nurtures economic empowerment and entrepreneurship development.

Currently the EDIP modality, through AICEI in Bahrain, is being implemented in 38 countries. 


  • In Bahrain
    • Ministry of Industry & Commerce; Ministry of Finance, Bahrain Development Bank, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Economic Development Board, Supreme Council for Women, Bahrain Businesswomen Society, SME Agency (Tamkeen), Microfinance bank (EBDAA)
  • Regionally and Internationally
    • Major line ministries in charge of economic development, MSME, Entrepreneurship, Development Funds (Islamic Development Bank, Kuwait Fund for Development, Arab Fund for Economic Development, Arab Gulf Program for Development-AGFUND, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, Italian Government through Italian Cooperation, Centennial Fund - KSA, Khalifa Fund - UAE), World Eminent Chinese Businessmen Association, General Union of Arab Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Arab Union for Small Enterprises, Social Fund for Development in Egypt, Social Fund for Development in Yemen, Bank of Khartoum
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