10 Practical Steps to Encourage Entrepreneurship and SMEs in MENA
Boosting Entrepreneurship remains one of the biggest challenges and mysteries for startups in the Middle East Region. Although well established in some countries, entrepreneurship has not reached its full potential. The shortage of small and micro firms in the region suggests high barriers to entry into any industry for all. While the investment climate in the Middle East and North Africa, in some countries, perceives some constraints. These barriers restrain the ability of firms to grow to their potential. More important, they restrain the number of start-up firms that can enter the private sector.
I’ve recently followed Khaldoon Tabaza the CEO, member of the Executive Committee and part of the investment team of Riyada Enterprise Development, a member of the Abraaj Group.
Mr, Tabaza provided his follower on twitter with a look into what he feels are the 10 steps to Encourage Entrepreneurship and SMEs in MENA.
Step 1: Build Affordable Incubation Facilities in Every City
Step 2: Enable Business Registration and Liquidation (in less than a week, and with no minimum capital)
Step 3: Enable Cross-border Work Visas (between human resources rich countries, and their neighbors with large markets)
Step 4: Provide Equity Funding (for US$ 10K, US$ 50K, US$ 1M, and beyond)
Step 5: Relax Financing (provide loan guarantee programs to SMEs with no collaterals)
Step 6: Plug-In Academia (transform universities to incubators and services centers)
Step 7: Ease Customs and Taxes (5 year tax breaks for knowledge-based businesses, and custom free knowledge infrastructure)
Step 8: Enable Technology Transfer (provide free technical assistance to incorporate technology in every business)
Step 9: Provide Mentorship (a qualified mentor is the right for every entrepreneur)
Step 10: Celebrate Success (embrace and promote success and create more role models)