Empowering Somali Startups: Insights from the Launch Ceremony and Round-Table Event

Published Date :

September 9, 2023

Time to Read :

6 Minutes


In a momentous event that brought together key stakeholders, policymakers, and business leaders, SIMAD iLab recently conducted a Launch Ceremony and Round-Table Event focused on examining the legal framework for startups in Somalia. With a specific emphasis on the impact of registration fees on their growth and scalability, the event shed light on critical issues facing Somali micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises(MSMEs). This blog post will explore the key findings and insights from this remarkable gathering and discuss how policy and regulatory changes can drive the growth of MSMEs in Somalia.

Keynote Speakers and Insights

The event commenced with a warm welcome from Acting Director, Ustad Naima Hussien, who emphasized the pivotal role of SIMADiLab in creating jobs and enhancing employability for Somali youth. Naima also highlighted the significant achievements over the past four years in empowering the youth within the community.

One of the highlights of the event was the presentation of the research study, "Examining the Legal Framework for Startups in Somalia," by Mr. Ali Farah, Partnership Builder at SIMAD iLab.This study delved into the impact of registration fees on the growth andscalability of SMEs, providing valuable insights for the sector.

Round-Table Discussions: Empowering MSMEs in Somalia

The round-table discussions brought together diverse voices from the government, financial institutions, experts, incubators, and MSMEs themselves.

Mr. Ahmed Mohamed Omar, Director of Business Registration and Licensing at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, FGS, shared the government's efforts to create a conducive environment for MSMEs inSomalia. He addressed the issue of high registration fees and outlined steps the government is taking to reform and enhance the legal and regulatory framework for MSMEs. His commitment to aligning with the diverse needs and challenges across sectors and regions was evident.

Mr. Mohamed Ali Adam, Corporate Relations Manager at Premier Bank, provided insights into the bank's programs to support small businesses. He discussed the steps MSMEs can take to access funding fromPremier Bank and highlighted the bank's Kobciye program for startups.

Dr. Idil Mohamed Abdirahman, Founder of Kalsoon Counseling and Director of the Kaafia Center, shared valuable perspectives on the challenges faced by women-led MSMEs in Somalia, particularly related to formalization. She recommended crucial actions for the government and financial institutions to assist these businesses, including reducing registration fees and taxation, creating a conducive legal framework, and improving access to finance.

Ganacsi-Kaal Declaration IV

At the conclusion of the event, the SIMAD iLab issued the Ganacsi-Kaal Declaration IV, summarizing the key discussions of the day. This declaration calls for decisive actions from all relevant stakeholders to support the small business sector and drive growth and success.

Closing Remarks and Future Outlook

Dr. Dahir Hassan Abdi, Rector of SIMAD University, underscored the importance of advocating for a conducive legal framework and lower registration fees to enable the establishment and prosperity of startups. He called for collaboration between the government and incubation centers to reduce registration costs for Somali entrepreneurs, ultimately fostering economic growth.

Hon. Osman Mohamed Abdi (DAALO), Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry in Somalia, officially closed the event by expressing strong support for  SIMAD iLab's initiatives in youth empowerment, employability, and entrepreneurship. He praised the research study and committed to presenting its findings to legislative bodies, emphasizing his dedication to resolving the issues of MSMEs.


The SIMAD iLab extended heartfelt gratitude to the event's guests, speakers, panelists, and participants for their pivotal role in its success. Their presence and engagement fostered meaningful connections and conversations, setting the stage for continued collaboration and innovation.

A Remarkable Milestone

The event marked a remarkable milestone in the journey of innovation and collaboration for the SIMAD iLab and its dedicated team. As we look to the future, it is clear that the insights and commitments forged during this event will serve as a catalyst for transformative change in Somalia's entrepreneurial landscape. Thank you for being a part of this colorful and inspiring event!



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