Closer public-private sector collaboration could send entrepreneurship in MENA skyrocketing
Closer public-private sector collaboration could send entrepreneurship in MENA skyrocketing, but the private sector needs to lead the way, says World Bank private sector specialist Ali AbuKumail in this podcast (listen, runtime: 25:00). There is a direct correlation between a business-friendly environment and increased entrepreneurial activity, so entrepreneurs will gravitate towards hubs where they can operate easily. Kuwait is one such success story: A recent government partnership with Wamda has helped to build its entrepreneurship culture, and the Kuwait Business Center has become a one-stop shop to facilitate business registration, scaled nationally by the government.
But roles must be well defined: AbuKumail recommends more regional inter-government cooperation to allow entrepreneurs to move and expand their businesses easily — a must, given MENA’s market fragmentation. Building infrastructure by, for example, providing fast, accessible internet across entire countries — not merely in the center of urban areas — is another vital role for individual governments. Ultimately, there needs to be a clear delineation of roles to cater to the diverse needs of projects at different stages of the life cycle, with the public sector working on the enabling environment and the private sector taking the lead to develop models that tackle regional challenges.