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A development perspective of technology-based entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa

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Author(s): M-Said Oukil

Journal: Annals of Innovation & Entrepreneurship
ISSN 2000-7396

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: technological entrepreneurship | technological innovation | development | industrialization | private sector | MENA countries

ABSTRACT
This paper contributes to the literature on technology-based entrepreneurship with particular reference to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It highlights the importance of technology-based entrepreneurship as a strategy for industrialization and technological development. Exploratory in nature, the paper describes the general context for entrepreneurship in the evolving economies of MENA countries. Specifically it probes the positive engagement of the private sector in sustaining the drive toward technological entrepreneurship in the region. Using the scheme developed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) of classifying industries according to their degree complexity and knowledge intensity, the paper suggests another way of looking at the issue of technological development. To overcome difficulties of gathering primary data, the analysis draws on secondary data from the business Web site, bloomburg.com. The results indicate that entrepreneurship and technological developments are attracting increasing attention in the region, but that the necessary supportive educational measures are either absent or weak. The evidence is that the private sector is as active as the public sector in the processes of industrialization and technological development. Detailed studies of individual firms, sectors, and countries in the MENA region are needed to examine the role of dynamic entrepreneurs in technological take-off. Decision-makers are called upon to boost public and private innovation initiatives, and to place an appropriate emphasis on entrepreneurship learning for all. This paper sheds some light on the efforts of the private sector in MENA countries to close the technological gap with other developed and newly developing countries.

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