In the contemporary times, a diverse section of people quitting their jobs to find their true potential via entrepreneurship. It is a new form of employment where people no longer depend on the traditional means of employment but rather create their own streams of generating capital. Generally, an entrepreneur is an innovator who pitches an out-of-the-box solution to a complex societal problem, combines it with his skill set and brings solution-oriented business models to the market. The true spirit of Entrepreneurship thus lies in what is the organized combination of capital, labor, ideas and technology, fueled by engine of its growth which is a dedicated leadership and management.
Countries today rely heavily on creative minds capable of taking action by inventing novel approaches to solve societal concerns. Start-up enterprises, in particular, are multiplying in order to address key issues in their communities such as unemployment, migration, and political instability. In doing so, these start-ups also serve as a catalytic agent and contribute to the economic development and industrialization of the country. However, as the world becomes more interconnected in the wake of globalization, the global issues are adopting a more complex outlook. In this rundown, it is necessary for the world leaders to tackle these challenges with more apt solutions and look beyond their borders, and this is exactly where entrepreneurship plays a paramount role – as seen lately within the mini-laterals.
The Unique Selling Product
In recent past, there has been an evident rise in mini-laterals/QUADS. The fashion of these mini-laterals began to appear with the increasing success of the Indo-pacific QUAD which shifted the power paradigm from the Atlantic to the East. In parallel, another significant Middle Eastern Quad also took shape, known as the I2U2. The first summit of I2U2 grouping—comprising of India, Israel (I2) and US, UAE (U2)—took place virtually on Thursday, 14 July 2022, during US President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel. The joint statement released after the summit stated:
“This unique grouping of countries aims to harness the vibrancy of our societies and entrepreneurial spirit to tackle some of the greatest challenges confronting our world, with a particular focus on joint investments and new initiatives in water, energy, transportation, space, health, and food security.”
The heads of government of India, Israel (I2) and US, UAE (U2) during their virtual meeting pledged to tackle the challenges confronting today’s world with the combined spirits of entrepreneurship. It is noteworthy that the spirits of entrepreneurship are the USP—Unique Selling Product—of this grouping. Against the backdrop of war between Russia and Ukraine, there has been disruption in world food prices and supply chains, as both export quarter of the world’s wheat. Thus, with the vision to tackle food shortages in South Asia and Middle East, the UAE during the summit has pledged to develop a series of food parks worth $2Billion in India. The project intends to use green technologies to conserve fresh water, retain renewable energy sources, and reduce food waste. Being an agrarian economy, constituting a total of 42% employment, India will make available its land and farmers for the sound execution of the project. Concurrently, the private sectors in the US and Israel will provide technology related services to the initiative.
It is evident that the cross-regional cooperation between this mini-lateral is by and large facilitated by entrepreneurship. For instance, Israel owns 214 AgriTech startups which are going to be the leading tech service providers to the ‘Food Park’ Initiative launching in India. On the other hand, India has the third largest start-up ecosystem in the world and has been able to create 40,000 employment opportunities over the year. The United States in parallel is home to the well-known Silicon Valley – world’s largest bastion of tech-oriented startups and lastly, UAE too is picking up pace to tackle the challenges of the fourth Industrial Revolution via the application of robust technology. Thus, with economic cooperation at the heart of this QUAD, the idea of building partnerships and tackling issues via tech startups is a win-win situation because startups derive innovation and economic growth through their unique business models.
The basis of this cross-regional collaboration was laid down five years before this mini-lateral officially met in July, 2022 as a Middle Eastern Quad. It was during Narendra Modi’s 4-day visit to Israel during 2017 that, the Indiaspora made a high-level delegation appearance with its members from the US and India. The delegation’s visit was aimed at holding trilateral meetings in the realm of innovation ecosystem; mainly the entrepreneurship and venture capital. It was during this meeting that the idea of building a hi-tech triangle was proposed, encompassing the entrepreneurial potential of Tel Aviv, Bengaluru and Silicon Valley. However, what preceded the success of this trilateral alliance was the gathering among the entrepreneurs, government officials and investors of the former at NASSCOM’s tech-triangle summit.
Consequently, it was this former trilateral alliance that gave birth to the now established Quadrilateral I2U2 but, what further nurtured the viability here was the inclusion of UAE in the grouping. Nevertheless, the UAE has already been in close alliance with the Israeli entrepreneurial industry through initiatives like Synaptech Capital and UAE-Israel innovation office. Consequently, this fusion of Israeli technology with the Emeriti’s remarkable business ecosystem provides an opportunity for an accelerated regional economic development.
Resultantly, the alliances formed on the basis of entrepreneurship vis a vis innovative spirits have proven to be contributing well to the economic advancement and automation of many countries. Entrepreneurship over the years has seen a rapid boom even amidst Covid-19. However, the significant element in this rise could be the cross-regional cooperation among countries that could further augment not only country-relations but also boost the global GDP. Nevertheless, it is important for the alliances built on the basis of promoting innovation to remain firm on their stance. For instance, the formation of Indo-Pacific QUAD was perceived more or less likely to be a containment policy for China. However, in case of I2U2, it appears to be more unifying in terms of economic cooperation.
In any event, if the four countries put their focus entirely on the six identified dimensions, the alliance could succeed in myriad ways. Thus, it is necessary to note that, I2U2 seems to have a plethora of potential, with an increased ratio of rewarding outcomes. For instance, the UAE is luring start-ups, and is prepared to invest large sums of money. In contrast, the United States has immense capabilities in every imaginable domain; India has enormous human resources; and Israel has advanced technology in myriad fields. But, the stakes lie with UAE and Israel, being the key beneficiaries, to uphold the interests of the US and India and justify the continuation of this partnership.