Accelerating Entrepreneurship in the Middle East

Accelerating Entrepreneurship in the Middle East


Economic development in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) faces a critical challenge in the 21st century: the region’s youth bulge. With 65% under the age 30, the region has one the youngest populations in the world and one of the highest youth unemployment rates – over 25% (in some countries it is over 50%). The long-term prosperity and stability of the region hinges on the opportunities afforded to this generation. This is a dire situation that requires immediate action. So far, actions taken by government have not come close to creating the jobs required, and every year millions of young people attain working age with no hope of employment. As things stand today, the MENA region lacks several key components critical for a successful entrepreneurial ecosystem.

YGL Response

The Arab YGL community will draw on its collective work in various spheres of the entrepreneurship ecosystem – including education, awareness, mentoring and access to funding – to influence entrepreneurship-friendly policy decisions of Arab governments.

Key 2010 Accomplishments

First workshops held (during World Economic Forum on Middle East) and concept finalised.

Next Milestones

White paper to be developed with recommendations. Country dialogues to be organised to discuss and refine policy recommendations.


Pawan Patil, Habib Haddad, and Soraya Salti leading the way. Others involved to a lesser degree: Emile Cubeisy, Abdulsalam Haykal, Khaldoon Tabaza, Zainab Salbi, and Sheik Mohammed Al-Khalifa

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