Aiding entrepreneurs in North Africa and the Middle-East

Liverpool Business School is strengthening its global impact with a new study to examine the factors influencing entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa.

According to a recent World Economic Forum report, start-ups in the region too often suffer from debilitating obstacles negatively impacting job creation and growth. But not much is known about who entrepreneurs in those countries are and how they deal with challenges and grasp opportunities.

So much so that a new grant awarded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation is entitled "Entrepreneurship in the MENA Region: The Uncharted Territory."

Principal Investigator Dr Moustafa Haj Youssef said: “This is a region with huge potential and we aim to understand the unique circumstances people face and pinpoint the factors that contribute to their success.”

The grant of just under $250,000 will run from 01 May 2023 to 30 April 2025.The project will run surveys to create a novel dataset on the labour markets in six MENA countries: Egypt, Jordan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

As well as collecting data on demographic characteristics, it will also look at personality traits and locus of control.

Added Moustafa: “Using this dataset, we plan to answer crucial questions about the subtle differences between different types of entrepreneurs, their personalities, educational support, and we will also look at their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. And we will determine whether our findings are in anyway driven by cultural, social, religious and/or institutional differences among the countries we study.”

He said the outcomes will inform policymakers, yield at least two original research articles, and result in a novel database that will be freely available to researchers at its conclusion.

“We anticipate a significant impact at the academic, social, and governmental levels. Specifically, by way of our representative dataset that will comprehensively capture different characteristics of the workforce in the MENA region.

“To the extent that some of the countries we study have developing economies with limited research capabilities, we believe that our potential outcomes will aid policymakers in making informed decisions that optimize their limited financial resources and bolster social welfare.”

Dr Haj Yousseff is working with Dr Hiba Hussein from Liverpool Business School,  Dr Mostafa Harakeh, Leeds University and Dr Nagham Sayour from Zayed University.


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