Increasing Entrepreneurial Impact in the MENA Region

“This chapter treats countries of Middle East and of North Africa (MENA) as two similar but culturally distinct sub-regions of MENA. Using data collected by academics and international organisations (e.g. Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, OECD, UNDP), Qatar, U.A.E., Jordan in the Middle East, and Morocco in North Africa, emerge as the countries most likely to have the potential to develop a strong cadre of successful entrepreneurs. All four countries have very high youth population percentages, but MENA also has the world’s highest unemployment rates. E.g. in Morocco 49% of youths aged 15–24 are not employed or in school (NEET); in Jordan, more than half the entire population is >25 years of age and 25% of these youths are unemployed. In Qatar and U.A.E., population demographics are similar, but there’s greater likelihood their governments and/or foreign direct investment will provide needed resources. While economic development contributes to overall success, the ineffective and outmoded public education systems that currently exist throughout MENA not only prevent the spread of entrepreneurism, but also increase overhead for existing employers. Policies and initiatives that address these deficiencies can increase the size and/or accelerate entrepreneurial impact while improving existing businesses in Jordan and Morocco….”

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