12.3 Entrepreneurship is an Important Part of Increasing Youth Economic Opportunities in MENA, but it is not a Panacea
MENA experts who presented at the 2011 GYEOC agree that entrepreneurship is critical since there are not enough jobs in the region to absorb the youth demographic. New experiences identifying entrepreneurial aptitudes, providing training, access to finance, and mentorship hold promise though the region still has a long way to go. Significant attention still needs to be placed on changing mindsets so entrepreneurship is more widely accepted as a viable career path in a region so desperate for new jobs immediately. Stakeholders must be patient and allow sufficient time for businesses to develop. Yemen is one example of a government open to entrepreneurship, though they are just beginning steps necessary to foster new businesses. Experts agree that development time frames and outcome measurements need to account for the time it takes to grow a business, and for acceptance of entrepreneurship to grow.
12.3.1 Voices: MENA Experts Give Advice to the YEO Field
“At Citi, we find the most innovative and impactful
“Do things differently. The status quo is not working.
- Svava Bjarnason, Senior Education Specialist, IFC
“We all pay lip service to participatory approaches but
It is time and resource intensive and does not yield
-Awais Sufi, Vice President of Programs, International
“Listen to young people. Listen to alumni. We learn
-Jamie McAuliffe, President and CEO, Education for