New Entrepreneurs and High Performance Enterprises in the Middle East and North Africa

image of New Entrepreneurs and High Performance Enterprises in the Middle East and North Africa

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.



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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