Private sector development

Women in Business - Policies to support women's entrepreneurship development in the MENA region

 

 

MENA Women in Business publication cover

Date of publication
8 October 2012

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News release 8 October 2012 - Boosting support for women’s entrepreneurship will pay off in jobs and growth, says OECD

 

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This publication provides a comparative assessment of policy measures to promote, support and advance women’s entrepreneurship in 18 Middle East and North Africa economies.


Contents

Executive summary

The untapped potential of women's entrepreneurship

Methodology and framework for assessing support for women's entrepreneurship in MENA

Public policy and women's entrepreneurship in the MENA region

Institutional support for businesswomen in the MENA region

MENA women entrepreneurs’ access to credit and financial services

Business development services and information

Data collection and research on women entrepreneurs in MENA economies

About the publication

The historic events of 2011 sparked unprecedented political, economic and social change in
the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Citizens’ calls for greater social equity, more equal
opportunities and stronger economic development have placed job creation at the centre of public
policy concerns. Governments in the MENA regions are presented with the challenge and the
opportunity to explore new sources of economic growth to generate jobs for the 2.8 million men
and women who will enter the labour market every year. This will require pursuing an intense
policy reform agenda including an improved business environment, labour market reforms and
investment and equal access to education and skills formation for men and women.


Entrepreneurship is a major untapped source of growth in a region where the number of
existing enterprises and the rate of business creation are well below those in other developing
regions. Entrepreneurship is, among others, affected by prior work experience and by education. In
the MENA economies, far fewer women than men participate in paid employment: only 27% of
women join the labour force compared with 76% of men; this is also below the 51% female labour
force participation rate in low- and middle-income as well as in advanced economies. Hence,
enabling women to contribute to the economy as employees and entrepreneurs represents a major
opportunity to boost competitiveness, growth and job creation.


This publication is the first comparative assessment of policy measures to promote women’s
entrepreneurship in 18 MENA economies. The report recognises that MENA governments have
made progress over the past decade in closing the gender gap, especially in the area of education,
but that much more could be done to reduce gender inequality in economic activity. Better
designed and resourced policies, stronger public-private dialogue and targeted measures to
increase women’s access to financing, information and business support services are key priorities
for MENA governments to help unleash the potential of their women entrepreneurs.


Equal access for women to economic opportunities is a challenge both in the MENA region
and globally. The OECD initiative on Gender Equality in Education, Employment and
Entrepreneurship shows that many of the obstacles in MENA countries that prevent women from
contributing to economic growth and benefitting from it can also be observed in developed
economies.


No country in the world can generate sustainable and inclusive economic growth when the
talents of half of its population are underutilised. Gender equality is key for the potential of an
economy, for the inclusiveness of a society and, not least, for the opportunities of men and women.
The OECD is committed to working with partners in the MENA region, and around the world, to
design, promote and implement better gender equality policies for better lives.

 

 

 

Countries list

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bermuda
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Cape Verde
  • Cayman Islands
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • China (People’s Republic of)
  • Chinese Taipei
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Democratic People's Republic of Korea
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • European Union
  • Faeroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guernsey
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong, China
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jersey
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Korea
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macao (China)
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia (Federated States of)
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Niue
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Palestinian Administered Areas
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Helena
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Serbia and Montenegro (pre-June 2006)
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Virgin Islands (UK)
  • Wallis and Futuna Islands
  • Western Sahara
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe