A follow-up conference to an Israel-initiated UN General Assembly resolution, passed by 141 countries in December 2012.

 Entrepreneurship for Development High-Level Debate


Copyright: Shahar Azran

On June 26, 2013 the Israeli Mission to the UN, co-hosted a conference with the President of the General Assembly on promoting entrepreneurship as a means to tackle the world’s most pressing problems.

In the photo: L to R: Salvador Paiz, Special Envoy of the National Competitiveness Program of Guatemala, Ron Prosor Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Rita Cosby (CBS), Vuk Jeremic, President of the UN General Assembly, Inderjit Singh Member of Parliament of Singapore, Emmanuel Hategeka Permanent Secretary Ministry of Trade and Industry Rwanda.

The event followed the passage of Israel-initiated UN General Assembly resolution on “Entrepreneurship for Development." The resolution was designed to encourage countries to support entrepreneurs, as a means of advancing growth and prosperity in the developing world. Despite an attempt by the Arab states to block this resolution, 141 of the UN’s 193 member states raised their hands in favor of it in December 2012.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, said then: “Israel is a young, dynamic, and creative country. This time we aren’t just going ‘public’ on Wall Street, we’re going public with 141 partners at the United Nations. The entire world can benefit from Israel’s knowledge, experience, and technology.

Ambassador Prosor spoke at the Entrepreneurship for Development event, along with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President of the General Assembly Vuk Jeremic, and entrepreneurs and innovators from across the globe.

Among the panelists was Professor Dan Shechtman, who received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2011. At his acceptance ceremony in Stockholm, Professor Shechtman said, “It is our duty as scientists…to encourage our educated youth to become technological entrepreneurs. Those countries that nurture this knowhow will survive future financial and social crises.”

Ambassador Prosor added. “There’s a Hebrew expression that says, ‘Success has many parents, but failure is an orphan.’  While most people fear and avoid failure, entrepreneurs know that it’s impossible to live without failing.  The spirit of entrepreneurship is to challenge conventional wisdom, break the status quo, and persevere until you’ve changed the world.”

Yesterday’s conference was part of a campaign led by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Israeli Mission to the UN, and MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation. The campaign shines a spotlight on Israeli innovation and ingenuity as a model for poverty eradication, financial growth, and creativity in marketing and technology.

The event was divided into an opening segment, and three panels.

The first panel focused on "Entrepreneurship for Development," and featured speakers including Professor Shechtman, Sherry Tross, Executive Secretary for Integral Development of the Organization of American States, and Martin Bruncko, the Senior Director of the World Economic Forum.

The second panel focused on "Entrepreneurship Education," and featured speakers including Luke Williams, the Executive Director of the Berkeley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at New York University, and Thom Ruhe, the VP of Entrepreneurship for the Kaufmann Foundation.

The third panel focused on "Entrepreneurship as a Tool for Empowerment," and featured speakers including Rahama Wright, Founder and CEO of Shea Yeleen International, Naila Chowdury, CEO of TeleConsult Group, and Helen Marquard, the Executive Director of the SEED Institute.