SPARK Expert Meeting

Youth Entrepreneurship Development in Conflict Affected Environments


13.00 – 17.00 hrs


*Invite Only Event

*Follow the day’s events on the Expert Meeting Storify!

SPARK, in cooperation with the Clingendael Institute and the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law, will be holding  its annual expert meeting on Youth Entrepreneurship Development in Fragile States on Wednesday, September 18th 2013.

The purpose of the expert meeting is to discuss dilemmas in the field from different perspectives and to jointly develop practical approaches to address them. To do so, the event will bring together experts in the field of youth entrepreneurship development in conflict affected environments including development practitioners, private sector representatives, policy makers, academics and entrepreneurs.

SPARK shares the belief that the creation of economic opportunities for young women and men in fragile environments can contribute to social cohesion and peace.  Lessons learnt in its various programmes in different post-conflict regions add to the growing evidence that youth entrepreneurship can act as a driver of   trust within local communities and   legitimacy for governments.

Yet, theories of change linking youth entrepreneurship development to peace encounter a number of dilemmas:

  • Who are the (future) entrepreneurs who bear the most potential for economic success?
  • How can much needed “quick wins” interventions for youth in the immediate aftermath of violent conflict be linked to sustainable and inclusive private sector development?



13.00                Welcome by Yannick du Pont

Director SPARK & Steering Group member of the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law


Dilemma 1: Targeting Entrepreneurs: based on vulnerability and risk or economic potential?

13.10                Keynote speech by Mr. Tarik Yousef (Silatech)
13.25                Entrepreneurs panel
13.40                Breakout session
14.25                Presentation of results
14.40                Coffee / tea


Dilemma 2: Quick impact versus long-term development: how can local partners and youth entrepreneurs be empowered to bridge that gap?

14.55                Keynote by Mr. Magdi Amin (IFC)
15.10                Entrepreneurs panel
15.25                Breakout session
16.10                Presentation of results
16.25                Final debate and concluding remarks
17.00                Drinks!

The meeting will be moderated by Marije Balt, Springfactor



Tarik M. Yousef

Tarik Mohamed Yousef was appointed in 2011 as Chief Executive Officer of Silatech, a regional initiative that promotes job creation, entrepreneurship, access to capital and markets, and the participation and engagement of young people in economic and social development. Tarik began his career in 1997 as an economist at the International Monetary Fund, and joined the faculty of Georgetown University in 1999, where he held the positions of Associate Professor of Economics in the School of Foreign Service and Sheikh Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah Chair of Arab Studies at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. Between 2006 and 2010, he served as the Founding Dean of the Dubai School of Government and nonresident Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He co-founded the Middle East Youth Initiative at the Brookings Institution in 2007, where he has since served as nonresident Senior Fellow.


Magdi M. Amin

Magdi M. Amin is the Principal Economist, Office of Executive Vice President & CEO at the International Finance Corporation.  Since joining the World Bank Group as a Young Professional in 1988, Magdi has held positions in East Asia & Pacific, Africa and MENA.  Magdi assumed the role of Manager of Investment Climate Advisory Services in October 2010, based in Cairo, just in time for the revolution. His focus thus far has been on responding to the underlying economic causes of the Arab Spring by removing regulatory obstacles to entrepreneurial business including social entrepreneurship, strengthening bankruptcy systems, and helping to launch the Education for Employment Initiative to Arab Youth. His degrees are from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School and Johns Hopkins SAIS.



The Conflict Research Unit (CRU) of Clingendael conducts research on the nexus between security and development with a special focus on integrated/comprehensive approaches on conflict prevention, stabilisation and reconstruction in fragile and conflict-affected situations. The CRU focuses on the following research topics: Crisis and Conflict Analysis, Governance, Security and Justice, Economic Development, Policy Debates. 



This expert meeting was partly made possible by the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law.  The Knowledge Platform aims to build a bridge between global issues and Dutch expertise on security and rule of law, and to contribute to international knowledge, policy development and implementation, both in fragile and conflict-affected environments and in the Netherlands. To achieve this, the platform brings together the most qualified academics, policy-makers, civil society organizations and companies from around the world. Through this work the Knowledge Platform aims to make international efforts in the field of security and rule of law more effective. 



Download the Expert Meeting Documents by clicking on the link

September 18th Programme

Expert Meeting Background Papers

SPARK Expert Meeting Profiles

SPARK Expert Meeting Report

Expert Meeting Participant List

 *To help attendees get around Amsterdam, we have created a Welcome Packet with maps, directions and more.  Click here to download your Welcome Packet.


  • Share this page