Entrepreneurship in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia



December 13, 2010

It could be the answer to the region’s financial woes, and yet entrepreneurism still faces huge challenges in countries across the Middle East. Kipp’s new special report gives you an insight.

Starting a business in the midst of a financial crisis would not appeal to the average person. Faced with an unstable economy, most people’s natural response would be to withdraw into the security and safety of a reliable job with an established organization. The prospect of an uncertain future and an unreliable income stream hold little appeal to men and women with families, mortgages, and other responsibilities.

And yet history is full of stories of successful companies that made their starts during recessions. According to Insidecrm.com, Hewlett-Packard got under way during the Great Depression of 1939. Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs began Apple in 1976, a time when the US economy was struggling badly, and about the same time as Microsoft started up. CNN got underway in the recession of 1980, and MTV wasn’t far behind. Even GE, started way back in 1873, began in a recession. Powered with good, innovative ideas, a new company can succeed even in tough economic times.

What’s more, entrepreneurism represents a potential tonic to the economic predicament we all share. These risk takers help forge new market segments, help encourage money to flow, help generate jobs – all the things we so badly need. And, what is more, they are often driven by young people. Kipp has written a number of times about the predicament of the world’s youth, who are finding it harder than ever to attain meaningful employment. Estimates say that millions of new jobs will be needed in MENA in the coming years to keep the young population employed. These jobs will come from global companies entering the market, yes, but also from entrepreneurs.

In this special report, Kipp will take an ongoing look at entrepreneurship in the region. Who are the entrepreneurs, and what are their ideas? Where will they find money, and what’s in it for the investors? Can they overcome the crippling bureaucracy of countries like the UAE, where company law is dated at best and prohibitive at worst?


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