Region
Middle East & North Africa

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"This assessment was conducted by a mixed international-local team with youth participation, and is the first of a series of labor market assessments to be conducted under the Workforce Connections project. The methodology builds on standard approaches to understanding labor markets used in the past by USAID, other donors, governments, and private organizations, with the addition of a more focused economic analysis which makes it possible to generate deeper insight into the drivers of skills demand. Results from this and the other Workforce Connections assessments, and the tools used to generate them, will be shared and further refined through the project's Community of Practice over the coming year. The assessment also contains a summary of lessons learned about workforce development programming."

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"This report unpacks why women's entrepreneurship is good for business and is essential for economic growth. Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a key driver of economic growth, and women-owned enterprises account for approximately 30-37 percent (8-10 million) of all SMEs in emerging markets. As such, women are the fastest-growing market segment, they start businesses at a higher rate than men, and it is expected that they will create approximately 50 percent of new small business jobs by 2018. In developing economies, SMEs are increasingly important, as they contribute to nearly half of the labor force."

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"Opportunity-driven entrepreneurs generate much of Africa's employment, income and hope for a better future. But how are these companies progressing over time? This question is answered in the VC4Africa 2015 Venture Finance in Africa report.

This report captures the performance of ventures listed on the Venture Capital 4 Africa online platform and highlights the activity of investors' part of the network. As the community continues to grow, it is expected this yearly report will lend insights into what is happening across the larger startup space. The report breaks down insights across 5 indicators: employment, performance, investments, investors and ecosystem."

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"Fintech recently became the most-active sector for startup investment in the Middle East and North Africa. While much of the media coverage has focused on digital payments and e-commerce, this report will highlight fintech innovation that is improving "financial health" for the region's most marginalized communities: tech that helps people manage their income and expenses, weather financial shocks and plan for a healthy financial future."

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"Tech start-ups are an effective mechanism to both create local technology and absorb foreign technology. The objective of this report is to provide a better understanding of the status of Beirut's start-up ecosystem and provide policy recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders who are interested in supporting the growth and sustainability of the ecosystem. The report is based on an in-depth survey of startups and supportive stakeholders of the ecosystem. The findings point out to an early-to middle stage start-up ecosystem that has passed its nascent growth phase but is still far from maturity. Skills, supportive infrastructure, finance pipeline, and community and networks are examined and gaps are identified. Policy recommendations to tackle these gaps are presented based on international practices."

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"This report addresses the question: 'How do support programmes fulfil different roles for startups within startup ecosystems?' To put it another way, terms used for programmes supporting startups include: accelerators, coworking spaces, incubators, active seed investors, courses, competitions. But what is the difference?
In trying to answer this, this study interviewed over 30 practitioners, and undertook site visits to startup programmes operating in cities in high-income countries in Europe (Berlin, London, Munich, Cambridge), with the addition of Israel as a close neighbour."

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"This study estimates that social enterprises could create more than 1 million additional jobs by 2030 in the 12 focus countries that have been analyzed. Overall, this would result in a total of approximately 5.5 million direct jobs in social enterprises in 2030. These jobs would be created in existing markets, but also for new markets, thus creating new value chains and many more indirect income opportunities in these countries. The implementation of the interventions recommended in this report are thus an important action to prepare the African continent on future demographic dynamics. In addition, they can also be seen as an important contribution to preserve jobs that have been put at risk because of COVID-19."

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"This study assesses the state of a significant, albeit underserved, segment of the SME market, known as the "Missing Middle" to better understand their needs and the challenges they face. It addresses how governments and other stakeholders can help them reach their potential for growth and job creation to positively impact the MENA region. Missing Middle SMEs are formally registered firms that have passed the initial start-up stage. These SMEs typically have modest revenues of US$100,000-$5 million, employ an average of 6-150 employees and require between US$50,000 and $2 million in flexible growth finance, along with business development assistance, to survive and grow. This study shows that although there are a number of existing SME support programs in the region, they need to go beyond the provision of limited subsidized loans and pre-investment training to adequately support the Missing Middle SMEs throughout their business lifecycle."

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