Stopping the Brain Drain in Developing Countries through Entrepreneurship

Global Innovation Gathering (GIG)
re:publica 2016


Creative and full of innovative approaches, young entrepreneurs in low-income countries are building a path towards greater economic development. Through initiating new networks and setting up collaborative environments, these entrepreneurs are creating opportunities both for themselves and others. As such, this session will look at how innovation and entrepreneurship can offer long-term perspectives for young people in their home countries.


With approx. 250 million people living outside their country of origin, migration is undoubtedly a global phenomenon. Its effects on economic growth are various and can be both positive and negative effects. Evidence indicates, however, that low-income countries are disproportionately affected by the exodus of young, skilled people. Unemployment, lack of opportunity, and economic growth remain among the top reasons why people migrate. For countries without the means to harness the potential of migration, such outflows among the potential workforce can be detrimental to those left behind.

The rise of young entrepreneurs in these countries offers a growing potential to provide opportunity where it is most needed. Moreover, in many countries where young people live in politically restrictive environments, entrepreneurship is one of the few means for free expression and creativity. Entrepreneurs in these countries are creating opportunities for themselves and others with the hope of a better life. But in the face of the day-to-day but also more large-scale constraints for businesses in developing countries, these individuals require a particular level of initiative, resourcefulness and entrepreneurial spirit. The use of digital technologies can serve as a resource to overcome some of the hurdles and find new approaches.

In this session, hosted by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), key drivers of the entrepreneurship and startup scene from Egypt, Morocco and Kenya will discuss their initiatives, the challenges they’ve faced but also how their approaches have helped create opportunity. From Egypt’s largest summit that connects entrepreneurs and resources from the MENA-region and Africa, to bringing the collaborative economy to Morocco, to managing a hub for technology innovation in Kenya – the panelists will share their experiences in creating opportunities for young people and discuss how initiatives such as theirs can be supported, replicated, and possibly scaled up.

Stage 4
Dienstag, 3. Mai 2016 - 16:15 bis 17:15


Global Connector and MENA Coordinator
International Consultant & Academic Researcher
Founder and CEO
Cofounder & Partner
Parliamentary State Secretary