G20 YEA Saudi Virtual Summit 2020 concludes with call to harness potential of entrepreneurs for sustainable and inclusive growth


Chaired by H.R.H. Prince Fahad bin Mansour bin Nasser

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Chaired by H.R.H. Prince Fahad bin Mansour bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the virtual summit of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance (YEA) 2020 concluded its activities and issued its final communique after a series of panel discussions and presentations by young entrepreneurs from across the globe. The summit ran from the 29th till the 30th of October, under the theme ‘Entrepreneurship is a Source of Innovation and Resilience.’

Local and global speakers took the stage to share insights, learnings, and expertise focusing on the summit’s theme that was built on three main topics, namely Entrepreneurship and the Economy, an Entrepreneurial Disruption, and Social and Environmental Aspects. Young entrepreneurs joined from locations across the globe to learn from each other and unite their voices in an urgent call to action from the G20 Leaders.

“Entrepreneurship is fuelled by innovation and resilience. As we reflect on the economic hardship we have all witnessed and lived through during the COVID-19 pandemic, the year 2020 has showcased the agility of entrepreneurs and start-ups as they seek to develop new opportunities and find creative ways to deliver entrepreneurial excellence,” stated H.R.H. Prince Fahad bin Mansour bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chair of G20 YEA Saudi 2020 Summit.

The priorities in the summit’s final communique stem from interviews and a global survey of young entrepreneurs that asked them about the challenges and opportunities facing their businesses and the economies and societies in which they operate. The recommendations also build upon in-depth research on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in G20 countries that members have conducted jointly over the past ten years with knowledge partners. The communiqué is aligned with the priorities of various working groups in the B20 process, most notably the area of SME development and employment.

SMEs and entrepreneurs are the main job creators in the G20 economies, employing more than two-thirds of the private sector workforce and providing more than 80 percent of net job growth. As the world begins to repair the economic damage from COVID-19 and looks for ways to pay down record levels of government debts, the potential of entrepreneurs to drive a new generation of sustainable and inclusive growth needs to be harnessed now more than ever. It is in this light that the G20 YEA Summit Committee issued the following five recommendations for G20 Leaders and their governments.

  1. Address the barriers to capital faced by the world’s young entrepreneurs
  2. Support skills training and entrepreneurial education
  3. Grow the sustainable economy of tomorrow
  4. Meaningfully address trade barriers
  5. Promote economic and social resilience through digitalization

The virtual summit kicked off with the handover of the chairmanship from Japan to the incoming G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance and KSA Summit Chair H.R.H. Prince Fahad bin Mansour bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, followed by the Summit Partner presentation by Principal Director of Accenture Armen Ovanessof, and Global Managing Director of Accenture Francis Hintermann. They then moderated a panel session titled ‘Pivotal Adaptation to COVID-19.’ Taking part in the panel were Kitty C. Liao, Founder and CEO of IDEABATIC Ltd., Michele Frisoli, CEO of Manta Group, and Louis Debouzy, Founder and CEO of Hello Medical.

The speakers and panels of the two-day summit included:

Panel One:

  • Title: Impact of Entrepreneurship on the Economy
  • Speakers:

       o    H.E. Dr. Nabil Koshak, CEO of Saudi Venture Capital Company

       o    Essam AlThekair, Vice Governor of Monsha’at

       o    Riyadh AlZamel, Founder and Chairman of RAZ Group

       o    Dr. Mazen AlZaidi, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Ministry of Investment
  • Moderator: Amal Dokhan, CEO of Global Entrepreneurship Network Saudi (GEN Saudi)

Panel Two:

  • Title: Pre- and Post-COVID-19 – Transformation the New Normal
  • Speakers:

       o    Dr. Sattam Al Subaie, National Information Center

       o    Adwa Al Dakheel, Founder and CEO of Falak

       o    Ayman Al Sanad, CEO of MRSOOL

       o    Dr. Hugo Macedo, Founder and CEO of Smart Separations

       o    Matteo dell’ Acqua, CEO of ADFlexSpa
  • Moderator: Bayan Al Ghamdi, Head of Entrepreneurship at Community Jameel

Panel Three:  

  • Title: Entrepreneurship Across Borders
  • Speakers:

       o    Arwa Al Banawi, Founder of Arwa Al Banawi Fashion House

       o    Abdulaziz Al Saif, Co-founder and Product Manager of FAYVO

       o    Vincent Bruneau, Founder and CEO of Sparkup

       o    Imad Jomaa, Founder and President of JGroup
  • Moderator: Vera Futorjanski, CEO and Founder of Veritas Ventures

Panel Four:

  • Title: Building and Replicating a Successful Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
  • Speakers:

       o    Dr. Neeraj Sonalkar, Executive Director of Human Innovation Design Research at Stanford University

       o    Dr. Hattan Ahmed, Head of Entrepreneurship Center at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

       o    Dr. Zeger Degraeve, Executive Dean at Prince Mohammad bin Salman College of Business and Entrepreneurship (MBSC)

       o    Daniel Ouimet, Senior Vice President at Futurpreneur Canada

       o    Dr. Sarah Ghaleb, Head of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Ecosystem at Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Center (Wa’ed)
  • Moderator: Amal Dokhan, CEO of Global Entrepreneurship Network Saudi (GEN Saudi)

Panel Five:  

  • Title: Unlocking VCs
  • Speakers: 

       o    Aneel Ranadive, Managing Partner at SOMA Capital

       o    Lo Toney, Founding Managing Partner at Plexo Capital

       o    Ahmad Al Shammari, Partner at STV

       o    Gregoire Sentilhes, President and Founder of NextStageAM
  • Moderator: Areeba Rehman, Founder and CEO of Fretbay and G20 YEA President (France)

Panel Six:  

  • Title: Education and Innovation
  • Speakers:

       o    David Choi, Educator and Entrepreneur at Loyola Marymount University

       o    Aziz Al Saeed, Co-founder and COO of NOON Academy

       o    Rakan Al Eidi, Founder of Chaizer

       o    Kevin “Kai” Chang, Founder and CEO of Kai Analytics & Survey Research Inc. 

       o    Tianqi Han, President of Future Academy China

       o    Dr. Rahul Mirchandani, Chairman and Managing Director of Aries Agro Ltd.
  • Moderator: Dr. Asma Siddiki, Head of Special Projects at Prince Mohammad bin Salman College of Business and Entrepreneurship (MBSC)

Panel Seven:

  • Title: How Social Entrepreneurship is Vital for Sustainable Development
  • Speakers:

       o    Mohammed Ashour, General Manager of Sustainability at Athar Consultancy

       o    Mohamed Al Arify, General Manager of Entrepreneurship Planning at Monsha’at

       o    Oliver Mochizuki, Co-founder and CEO of Fundsurfer

       o    Stephanie Limage, CEO and Founder of Limage Media Group

       o    Fatima Montiel, G20 YEA President (Mexico)

       o    Sarah Al Sawwaf, Founder and Executive Producer of Aya Animations

       o    Aurelie Billat
  • Moderator: Alex Gill, Founder of Mendicant Group

The communique was signed by representatives of all G20 states, after which the torch was passed by the current host of the G20 YEA Summit, Saudi Arabia, to next year’s host, Italy. After signing the communique, G20 YEA Saudi 2020 Summit Sherpa Sarah Al Ayed shared the summit’s recap and delivered the closing remarks announcing the summit’s conclusion.

The summit was hosted by Entrepreneurship Vision, powered by FAYVO, and in partnership with key local and global organizations, including:

  • Global Alliance:

    o    G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance
  • Strategy Partner:

       o    Accenture
  • Governmental Partners: 

       o    Ministry of Communications and Information Technology

       o    Ministry of Investment

       o    Monsha’at (General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises)
  • Knowledge Partners:

       o    Prince Mohamed Bin Salman College of Business and Entrepreneurship (MBSC)

       o    King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)
  • Ecosystem Partners:

    o    FALAK

       o    GEN Saudi

       o    500 Startups

       o    RAZ Group

       o    Community Jameel

       o    Saudi Venture Capital Company
  • Summit Partners:

       o    Spring Rose

       o    Gourmet Café

       o    Athar Consultancy

       o    El Domo

       o    TACT

       o    FIRST Travel Agency

       o    RESERVAL

       o    ILSA Interactive

       o    Sustainable
  • Communications Partner:

       o    TRACCS