Women in Business 2014: Accelerating entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa Region




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Women in Business 2014 provides a statistical overview of women's education, employment and entrepreneurship followed by an analysis of women’s access to business development services, including incubators, and finance in 18 MENA economies. It builds on the 2012 edition's analysis of the overall policy framework and provides policy guidance for further reform in key areas.


Executive summary

Key Recommendations

Gender Inequality and Entrepreneurship: A Statistical Portrait of the MENA Region

Business Development Service Provision and Incubation for Women Entrepreneurs in the MENA Region

Expanding the Financing Options of Women-led Businesses in the MENA Region



About the publication:

The profound changes that have taken place across the MENA region since 2011 represent a historic opportunity to implement a multidimensional policy reform agenda, targeting in particular youth and women’s unemployment, weak institutions, limited competition and low levels of private sector development. Improving access to business support and finance of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), which account for up to 90% of businesses, and which create more than half the jobs in the region, could help improve enterprise activity and growth. Implementing specific measures to support women’s economic empowerment could help unlock entrepreneurship in the MENA region.   

Following up on the Women in Business 2012 edition, the Women’s Business Forum has focused on deepening knowledge of women’s economic attainment in the region as well as available support measures. Women in Business 2014 assesses progress made and provides policy guidance for further reforms in three areas essential for women’s entrepreneurship development: i) data collection and research; ii) business development services and information; and iii) access to credit and financial services. The recommendations aim to mobilise stakeholders from across society – governments, the private sector, business associations and civil society – in a collective effort for continued improvement in the business climate for women entrepreneurs in the MENA region.

Women in Business 2014 represents another successful result of the crucial support of the Women’s Business Forum and its National Task Forces, who were instrumental in the collection process of the relevant data analysed in this publication.

Fostering Women's Economic Empowerment


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