As the Arab world continues to struggle with limited fiscal capacity to create jobs and absorb new entrants into the labour market, the attractiveness of including entrepreneurship in job creation toolkits has grown. Many Arab countries have begun to explore entrepreneurial initiatives as a means to facilitate job creation and inclusive economic growth.

However, while the region has embraced rhetoric extolling the benefits of entrepreneurship, entrenched political and economic interests continue to limit these efforts. The region has yet to create the economic ‘ecosystem’ necessary for entrepreneurship to thrive—that is, an integrated policy environment that encourages startups and enables entrepreneurial ventures to take hold and succeed. Instead, many challenges continue to impede Arab entrepreneurs from reaching their full potential.

In her latest Brookings Doha Center policy briefing, Entrepreneurship: An engine for job creation and inclusive growth in the Arab World, Bessma Momani explores the existing political, economic, and socio-cultural challenges facing entrepreneurial initiatives in the Arab World. She argues that policy improvements—particularly when it comes to regulation, finance, education, ‘intrapreneurship,’ and regional integration—must be implemented in order to both promote greater entrepreneurship and sustain an inclusive economic environment.

Download the full paper here.