The role of Islamic finance in providing venture capital, innovation and youth entrepreneurship were among the topics discussed at the 12th Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Global Forum on Islamic Finance held May 15 in Jeddah.

Titled ‘Empowering Youth Entrepreneurship and Access to Islamic Finance’, the main goal of the event was to come up with solutions and actions on the use of alternative finance to empower youth entrepreneurship and innovation, and thereby create job opportunities especially in IDB member countries.

Representatives of development institutions, experts in technology-driven businesses and venture capital providers spoke during the forum. They noted that capital is the biggest obstacle to starting businesses, and highlighted the potential of Islamic finance to provide the much-needed support to youth-led business ventures.

Furthermore, participants concluded that small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) as the best avenue of creating jobs for the youth, and explained that countries that have recognized the SMEs potential have gone far in this direction.

The forum was organized jointly by the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) and Enterprise Development Department of the IDB Group, in partnership with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), on the sidelines of the 42nd IDB Group Annual Meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Read more at Saudi Gazette.