Promoting Trade and Cooperation Between the EU and GCC

It was an absolutely amazing experience to help talented entrepreneurs while simultaneously increasing international cooperation.
Jakob Kistorp
Rainmaking Partner

Collaboration Between SME's, Startups, and Corporates

Following the success of our ecosystem development work in the MENA regions, we were trusted to co-create the 2015 EU-GCC program. A pilot initiative intended to promote trade between the EU and GCC as well as increase cooperation between corporates, SME’s and startups.

We partnered with The Danish Confederation of Industry, Business Europe, and the Federation of Gulf Cooperation Council Chambers (‘GCC’) to design and deliver this project, funded by the EU Commission.

Optimizing Relations

Despite a past characterized by sociopolitical challenges, the GCC and EU are increasingly reliant on each other for trade and investment. The GCC stands as the fifth top trading partner with the EU and accounts for over €100 Billion in EU goods exports.

While trade is increasing steadily year over year, the majority is still based on mineral fuels and industrial products.

Our challenge was to promote trade bilaterally in underrepresented areas such as services and technology, while also increasing collaboration in the development of new innovations.

Building on Existing Platforms

Having already built up a strong local presence in the GCC region and Europe, and proven the success of our workshop format through our Startup MENA Program, we were able to draw on our existing network of engaged corporates and ecosystem players to design a series of premium workshops and match-making events.

24 Events in 10 Countries

Over the course of 2015 we ran 24 events across 10 countries. And, successfully highlighted disruptive startups from the GCC, training entrepreneurs, matching corporates to startups for commercial partnerships, and promoting the Gulf as a market to EU startups and SMEs.

We Designed and Delivered:

  • Intensive workshops in Kuwait City, Doha, Muscat, Dubai, Manama, Jeddah, London, Berlin, Brussels and Rome
  • Match-making events in London and Dubai
  • An international pitch challenge touring Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman
  • An online matchmaking portal: EU-GCC Connect
Building on the success of the EU-GCC program in 2015, the initiative will continue to run until 2018.

Continued Operation

The data and reports generated by Rainmaking will be used as the bedrock of further efforts to increase trade and investment across various industries.

The Danish Confederation of Industry, Business Europe, and the Federation of Gulf Cooperation Council Chambers are all driven to to progress further; forging closer links, removing regulatory barriers, and increasing trade.

Want to learn more about our ecosystem development?

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