Competitiveness and Private Sector Development

ISSN :
2076-5762 (online)
ISSN :
2076-5754 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/20765762
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This series of publications addresses different aspects of private sector development in non-OECD regions, including the Middle East and North Africa, South East Europe and Eurasia. Reports provide recommendations at the national, regional and sector level to support countries in improving their investment climate, enhancing competitiveness and entrepreneurship, raising living standards and alleviating poverty.

Also available in: French
 
New Entrepreneurs and High Performance Enterprises in the Middle East and North Africa

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Author(s):
OECD, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada
Publication Date :
06 Feb 2013
Pages :
114
ISBN :
9789264179196 (PDF) ; 9789264100251 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/9789264179196-en

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The book assesses the current policy context for young enterprises in the MENA region and outlines policy tools and instruments, both indirect and direct, that governments can implement to support new enterprise development.

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    Foreword
    A growing body of research points to the important role of high growth enterprises in employment creation, productivity and economic growth. Most of the literature, however, focuses on OECD countries and a few emerging economies, and evidence for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region remains limited. This study addresses this information gap by focusing on young and high growth enterprises in the MENA region as important drivers of change, job creation and stronger competition.
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    Acronyms and glossary of terms
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    Executive summary
    One of the most significant challenges facing the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is the creation of economic opportunities and jobs to reduce the high levels of unemployment and absorb the growing number of people entering the labour force.
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    Making the case for high growth enterprises

    This chapter documents the role of high growth enterprises in terms of employment, wealth creation and innovation. It draws upon studies in OECD and some emerging economies, as well as from the MENA region.

    It notes the importance of enterprise births and deaths for job creation, loss and overall economic dynamism. The chapter includes analysis of the increasing importance of innovation from new and small firms. It further provides a characterisation of low growth and necessity-driven firms as well as high growth, innovative and opportunity-driven enterprises.

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    Enterprise development and entrepreneurship in the MENA region

    Based on data for several economies, this chapter analyses the levels and characteristics of entrepreneurship and enterprise development in MENA in a global context and across sub-regions of MENA. The chapter presents an overview of the prevalence of firms in different stages of the business life course and the distribution across economic sectors. Then it focuses on the prevalence of "high-potential" firms or firms that could be or become high growth. The third section of the chapter focuses on the nature of the individuals involved as owner-managers and differing motivations that can influence enterprise success.

    The analysis in this chapter is mostly based on data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM). A more extensive statistical analysis is published in P. Reynolds, (2013, forthcoming), Firm Creation in the Business Life Course: MENA Countries in the Global Context, OECD and IDRC, Paris and Ottawa, which is also part of the research leading to this publication.

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    High growth new enterprises owned by graduates

    This chapter zooms in from the "big picture" presented in Chapter 2 towards a more "in-depth" analysis of a very small number of enterprises in MENA: high growth new enterprises owned by graduates. These are especially relevant for policy makers as they have the potential to contribute substantially to job and wealth creation.

    To study the characteristics and challenges of these high growth enterprises, interviews were conducted with 20 entrepreneurs in five different countries (Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and UAE) covering a wide range of sectors. The case studies illustrate that most high growth firms have several owners, with university degrees and some, but diverse, previous work experience. Two thirds of these firms reported difficulties with access to finance, the recruitment of skilled labour, burdensome government regulation and corruption in the start-up process. Thus new business owners feel there is an opportunity for significant improvements, in particular in the area of access to finance and government regulation. While there is no overarching agreement on what governments need to do, some specific suggestions by entrepreneurs are given at the end of this chapter.

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    The entrepreneurship and SME policy regime in five MENA countries

    This chapter reviews current SME and entrepreneurship policies from OECD experience. The chapter aims at providing policy guidance for governments seeking to promote high growth enterprises.

    While there is no single best practice policy or a "one size fits it all" programme, the report makes policy recommendations in the areas of regulatory reform, access to finance and the promotion of women as entrepreneurs. It concludes that careful evaluation of governments’ support programmes is necessary to identify which policies work best in their specific context.

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    Rationale and policies to promote high growth enterprises
    This chapter summarises the main findings and recommendations of the report. It draws on the conclusions of the previous chapters and puts forth two main sets of policy priorities: measures to improve the overall business environment and targeted measures to support high growth enterprises. Specific policies relate in particular to access to finance, skills development, fostering the participation of women in the economy, improving infrastructure and public services and notably removing obstacles to enterprise creation and competition.
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