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infoDev Workshop: Promoting Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Inclusive Growth

On November 18 and 19, infoDev will host a workshop to discuss how to successfully foster innovation and promote entrepreneurship in developing markets. Specifically, the two-day forum will explore the role of the development community in promoting start-ups and new ventures, the levels of risk associated with supporting innovation, and infoDev’s contribution to the World Bank Group’s strategies and operations in the mobile and agribusiness sectors — for more information on the workshop’s sessions, see the agenda below.

The workshop will conclude a series of infoDev’s events dedicated to foster inclusive and sustainable development by supporting mobile technology entrepreneurs from emerging and frontier markets. “Mobile Startup Camp,” a five-day program of lectures and hands-on activities, has been designed to provide 20 talented entrepreneurs with marketing, business and networking skills. On Friday, November 15, “Demo Day” will see all the 20 mobile entrepreneurs pitching their ideas before a panel of industry experts and angel investors — see here the profiles of the participants.

After the Demo Day competition, the infoDev workshop will represent a unique occasion to discuss best practices, results achieved, and lessons learned in the mobile and agribusiness sectors. All the three sessions of the workshop have been designed to explore through highly interactive activities key aspects of mobile innovation, inclusive development, and promotion of entrepreneurship.


Monday, November 18              

Session 1 - Pushing the Frontier in Entrepreneurship Promotion

The session will discuss the role of the development community in promoting start-ups and innovative new ventures in developing countries. The session will also analyze the role that these enterprises can play in equipping countries to compete and thrive in the knowledge economy. Discussions will also explore the risks associated with the support of early-stage entrepreneurs, the importance of multiple players in the innovation ecosystem, and the disruptive potential of technology in lowering market barriers. Finally, the session will reflect on lessons learned from infoDev’s work in piloting innovative solutions over the past few years, and examine how this can inform the World Bank Group’s strategies and operations going forward.

Session 2 - Harnessing the App Economy: Integrating Mobile Innovation into World Bank Projects

Mobile access has been linked to economic and social development through locally owned, and locally relevant solutions. The session will explore different models of promoting mobile entrepreneurship, including the mHub and mLab models that infoDev has piloted in Africa, Asia and ECA over the last three years. Results achieved, lessons learned, and insights gained through the implementation of these models will be presented.

Tuesday, November 19                                                                        

Session 3 - Growing Agribusiness: Enabling Pioneering Firms

The agro-processing industry has a tremendous job-creation potential across multiple countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This highly interactive session will explore a newly derived model developed by infoDev: the Agribusiness Innovation Center. infoDev is now at the cusp of testing this model in four markets in Africa. After the presentation of the business model and the feasibility assessment methodology, the session will encourage participants to suggest key learning questions that infoDev will eventually incorporate into its evaluation and knowledge management framework.

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