Recommend read “The Young Global Leaders Forum and Booz & Company released a report on Accelerating Entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa” http://www.wamda.com/2011/10/10-steps-from-young-global-leaders-and-booz-for-accelerating-entrepreneurship-in-mena –was co-authored by Wamda’s CEO and Young Global Leader Habib Haddad. Excellent perspective on the entrepreneurial opportunities in this region. I have met with senior government staff in recent years – this report confirms my view this is an area of high potential
Submitted following comments in response to report:
Excellent insightful report I recommend all read – one key finding clearly shows that investing in new policies that drive growth of ‘microenterprises” (defined as value less than $15,000) has great potential to drive regional economies.
As noted given size these can be dismissed as irrelevant – look deeper and you see in Saudi Arabia, microenterprises account for 40 percent of all jobs, in Morocco 65 percent, similar in other countries
Other key point – solution to grow and improve survival rate of microenterprises is not just more funding as many may expect – cultural, education,mentoring all play a role. I have discussions in progress with a partner now to contribute in-region with new approaches addressing entrepreneurial education and many exciting initiatives in progress here.
Clearly very active entrepreneurial community exists within the MENA region and not sure many realize this. Also opens doors for alliances with U.S. partners, another opportunity I see developing quickly. Many implications for US also – while we may not have as many “necessity-driven” entrepreneurial ventures here, small/medium enterprises (SMEs) , with effective policies, can drive new jobs and economic growth.