On 22-23 November of 2011 the Founding Convention of the \”OIC Countries Young Entrepreneurs Network\” (ICYEN) co-organized by the Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation (ICYF-DC), Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the Government of Azerbaijan has been held in Baku, the Republic of Azerbaijan.

ICYEN is envisaged to be an international network subsidiary to ICYF-DC aiming to provide a platform for young entrepreneurs of the Muslim World, to enhance and develop their business skills, to support growth of the OIC economies through promoting youth entrepreneurship and to facilitate sharing of innovative ideas and best practices among young entrepreneurs on a global level.
At the opening ceremony Mr. Elshad Iskandarov, the Secretary General of the ICYF-DC, Mr. Fikret Akchura, Mrs. Leyla Aliyeva, the ICYF-DC General Coordinator for Intercultural Dialogue, UN resident-coordinator to Azerbaijan, Mr. Riz Khan, a renowned journalist from Al-Jazeerah International and Mr. Azeem Ibrahim, the President of \”Ibrahim Associates\” made greeting speeches to the delegates of the event. The goodwill message of Prof. Ekmelledin Ihsanoghlu, the Secretary General of the OIC was delivered to the participants of the ceremony.
The Convention highlighted a launch of new global award for young Muslims from across the world titled \”10 next generation Muslims to change the World\” which isinitiated by Mrs. Leyla Aliyeva and anticipated to be annual global award. The award is designed to celebrate the success of 10 exceptional young Muslims and the contribution they make to improve our world.
This initiative was full-heartily supported by different OIC high-level bodies. Thus,37th Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (ICFM) in its latest resolution 8/38-C (Astana, June 2011) \”endorsed program of ICYEN aimed at developing of youth entrepreneurship in the OIC Member States and the growth in youth employment; andcalled on the OIC Member States to contribute towards its development;\”

Baku Founding Convention established the ICYENby assembling national associations of young entrepreneurs and/or innovative enterprises led by young people, representing OIC member countries and large Muslim communities in non-Member States who are dedicated to development of their communities and contribute to enhancement of young entrepreneurship. Esteemed businessmen and young entrepreneurs along attended the Convention which will also provide an opportunity for networking entrepreneurs at different levels and across the region.

At the end of the event the participants adopted Charter and Action Plan that reflect the mechanisms of activity and concrete plans of the ICYEN.
The outcomes of the Convention will be presented at the Second Global Entrepreneurship Summit set to be held in Istanbul on 3-5 December, 2011.

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