Women in Business 2014

Accelerating Entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa Region

image of Women in Business 2014

Women in Business 2014 summarises the progress made by the OECD-MENA Women Business Forum (WBF) since the publication of its first Women in Business report in 2012. In 2012, five groups of actions had been identified as priorities to be carried out by governments, international stakeholders, financial and business support organisations, as well as statistical agencies. In two years, the WBF has developed inputs for three of these areas of priority actions. The WBF’s contributions are growing along with its increased recognition as a hub which spurs concrete improvements in the business climate for women entrepreneurs in the MENA region.

Today, women’s entrepreneurship is all the more important as governments in the region are facing the colossal challenge of rebooting job creation to improve the well-being of a growing workforce and confidence in the economy. The economic prospects of MENA economies that are going through a political transition have improved but unemployment has increased, inflation is rising and public finances have deteriorated. In these countries, political uncertainties add to long term structural difficulties. In the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, the challenges still lie in the diversification of their economies.


English Also available in: French

Gender inequality and entrepreneurship: A statistical portrait of the MENA region

This chapter presents a descriptive overview of women’s economic activity in the MENA region based on available statistical sources.

It analyses in what respects women’s engagement in the economy in MENA lags behind the rest of the world, in spite of significant advances in women’s education. The chapter also reviews how, considering the limited employment opportunities, entrepreneurship may be an attractive opportunity for women and to what extent it differs from entrepreneurship among men.

Overall, as indicated in Women in Business: Policies to support women's entrepreneurship development in the MENA region (OECD, 2012), greater efforts are needed at the national and regional levels to collect and compile gender-disaggregated data related to women’s economic activity to support evidence-based policy making and better harness the potential of women in MENA economies.

English Also available in: French

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error