The School of Business at The American University in Cairo (AUC) launched Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report, which presents a detailed examination of the behaviors, motivations and attitudes towards entrepreneurship in Egypt. The report also examines the different aspects of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Egypt making it a valuable resource on entrepreneurship policies and programs.Egypt participated in GEM cycles along with many other countries to monitor its entrepreneurial performance. This year’s report marks the fourth country report for Egypt and was developed by AUC team led by Ayman Ismail, assistant professor and Abdul Latif Jameel Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship, Ahmed Tolba, associate professor of marketing and associate provost for strategic enrollment management, Shima Barakat, head of Entrepreneurial Learning Programs and Engagement at the Entrepreneurship Centre at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, and Seham Ghalwash, research assistant.
This year’s report provides much needed findings for developing a healthy entrepreneurship ecosystem in Egypt; one that allows all types of socially-beneficial enterprises and activities to start, grow, thrive, and contribute to economic growth, jobs, and prosperity.
“AUC’s School of Business focuses on high-impact and high-quality research that is relevant to policy makers and business practitioners. The GEM report is a very good example of such impactful research in Egypt and beyond,” said Karim Seghir, dean of the School of Business, during the launch event at AUC New Cairo Campus, while highlighting the importance of leveraging the report’s findings and results towards more effective evidence-based policy making and program design.
According to GEM statistics, the period between 2010 to 2015 has seen an increase in the number of people interested in starting their own business while on the down side one third of the established business owners have exited their business due to lack of profit and limited access to finance.
With regards to gender distribution in the Egyptian entrepreneurial environment, the report highlighted that one in four entrepreneurs is a woman and one in every six established business owners is a woman, placing women entrepreneurships participation in Egypt below the global average. On the other side, the likelihood of becoming an entrepreneur is greater for youth aged between 25-34 years old.
The report also showcases a comparison between Egypt and other GEM countries’ ecosystems highlighting physical infrastructure and internal market dynamics as the areas of strength in the country, while pointing out that entrepreneurship education at both school and post-school stages are areas for improvement.
According to Ismail, entrepreneurship is the key driver for economic growth, job creation and competitiveness, “it is a tool for socio-economic inclusion, youth engagement and a free and competitive economy.”
Barakat stressed the importance of creating an international knowledge space for entrepreneurs to connect and inspire one another in different fields.
In the recommendations sections of the report, policy makers and government agencies were advised to establish entrepreneurship as a priority area. “Prioritization is key. It’s not about organizing a lot of activities, but rather selecting the ones that would have an impact on the economy,” said Tolba.