The “Ignite Istanbul” conference, organised by the Spark Foundation, funded by the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) and implemented by Qatar Charity, was held recently in Istanbul.

The conference discussed topics such as building business resilience during crises, digitisation and methods, as well as inclusive growth and promotion of entrepreneurship among youth in Turkiye and Jordan.

The conference was an opportunity to further develop solutions necessary to achieve strong economic growth in the region in the presence of thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and experts from various sectors, including from the government and private sectors, investors, educators, and higher education institutions.

The contributions of successful startups led by women and refugees, investors and system partners were presented.

QFFD representative Alaa Abdel Wahab, Qatar Charity officer in Turkiye Yousef al-Hammadi, resident representative of the UN Development Programme in TurkiyeLouisa Fenton, Spark Foundation chief executive Simon Van Melick, and many project owners and institutions took part in the conference.

“Economic resilience is a lifeline, as it enables young people to withstand and succeed in difficult circumstances,” Melick said. “For 30 years, Spark has been doing this, and today we would like to build on the achievements of this programme. We are building a strong economy whether in Turkiye or Jordan, but also in Gaza.”

“With the support of the Qatar Fund for Development and in co-operation with Spark and Qatar charity, social development care has flourished among refugees and local communities in Turkiye and Jordan,” Abdel Wahab noted. “The achievements so far are supporting major companies during the fight against the coronavirus (Covid-19) and improving access to funding.”

“We look forward to leveraging our unwavering commitment to working to create opportunities where dreams flourish and society succeeds,” he said.

“This programme is a great achievement for us, as it will oversee the work with all participants, officials, partners, and beneficiaries, I would like to thank you for the technical support provided by Spark,” al-Hammadi said.
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