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Entrepreneurs Track 9: Building Bridges For the Makers, Hakers and Eco-design Entrepreneurs

How to introduce makers and hackers to different stakeholders and building cross-sector collaboration?

How to build and nurture collaborative economies and societies? 

Challenges for collaborative economy in the MENA region

One of the main challenges in countries of the Mediterranean Basin is reaching higher levels of resource efficiency and sustainable waste management. This challenge is an opportunity for green entrepreneurs who like to apply circular economy business models. But what are the business opportunities and models exactly? For such models to flourish, business ecosystem should be favourable. But, which main factors such as infrastructure for waste collection, financing models, supporting policies should be addressed in the business ecosystem? What are the issues common in the North and South and how do they differ from each other?


Nelly Baz briefly introduced Ouishare as a global think-tank & do tank for collaborative economy involving 1,500 members and 70 Ouishare Connectors. The role of collaborative economy in strengthening economic activities and environmental sustainability was also presented.

Two main challenges to move towards sustainability and collaborative societies have been identified:

1)    The existence of different languages among diverse stakeholders (policy makers, eco-entrepreneurs, financial actors, etc.) resulting from complexity

2)     A changing context with environment as a major issue but not adequately addressed.


Some examples from Ouishare’s work trying to face both challenges have been shared such as POC21


“Community and ecosystem are the most essential elements for innovation? Nelly Baz, OuiShare Lebanon Connector


Taking the experience of hbr in Beirut, the challenge for finding a business model behind collaborative economy has also been pointed out, particularly considering the MENA region’s context.


Download the presentation here.

What strategies to support collaborative economy in the MENA region?


A workshop based on role-playing divided participants in two groups:

1) makers 

2) policy makers. Each group has explored challenges and solutions for collaborative economy in the MENA region. Results have been shared among all the participants.



About 20 people attended the session which gathered Switchers, SwitchMed’s Local Trainers and Local Partners, policy makers, SCP/RAC representatives and other actors.