• Youth and Entrepreneurship: Part 1

    Saturday 21st May 2005 - 5:00pm - 5:55pm

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  • Youth and Entrepreneurship: Part 1



    21.05.2005

    World Economic Forum in Jordan 2005

    Participants disagreed over the notion that "entrepreneurs are born, not made." They debated "if youth is a condition of age or mindset." They disputed whether "governments role is to create an enabling environment" for business, or "just get out of the way." But they all agreed these forces must work in concert in the Arab world, and fast.

    "We all know how in the Middle East North African region we must create 50 million new jobs in the next five years," said H.M. Queen Rania of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum. "We know the region is disproportionately youthful in age. But we should see this as an opportunity, not a challenge."

    Two of the millions of students on the verge of entering the workforce agreed. "Teachers must be a source of inspiration, not desperation," said Ahlam Al Sarwi, while Ahmad Al Hassan asked to be hired, adding: "We youth are not just the future we are the present."

    In that case, "Forget the old culture of entitlement and think: where can I create an opportunity for myself," advised Rabea Ataya, Chief Executive Officer, Bayt.com, United Arab Emirates. "There is an impressive, educated workforce population out there, ready to compete globally, and while it shouldn t expect anyone to hand something to you, I remain extremely optimistic."

    Not all were so rosy while looking at the demographics. "The youth bulge that right now is massively undereducated is not an opportunity it is a time bomb waiting to go off," warned Arif M. Naqvi, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Abraaj Capital, United Arab Emirates. "Huge scale investments in training and education are required now, and the time frame to do so is short."

    There was a slight distinction, by age, regarding the role of government. Younger entrepreneurs like Ataya and Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chief Executive Officer, Al Ghurair Group, United Arab Emirates; Young Global Leader want government to get out of the way. Older participants and panellists like Laura D. Tyson, Dean, London Business School, United Kingdom maintained the importance of ensuring a level playing field, ensuring transparency, bankruptcy, consumer protection, property rights and codified laws.

    Related Link

    World Economic Forum in Jordan

Speakers

  • Arif M. Naqvi Arif M. Naqvi
    Founder and Group Chief Executive, The Abraaj Group, United Arab Emirates

    Graduate, London School of Economics, UK. Founder and Group Chief Executive, The Abraaj Group, a lea...

  • H.M. Queen  Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan H.M. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
    H.M.Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Office of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Jordan

    Education advocate, promoter of educational opportunities for Jordan's youth and international voice...

  • Rabea Ataya Rabea Ataya
    Chief Executive Officer, Bayt.com, United Arab Emirates

    BSc in Electrical Engineering and MSc in Engineering Economic Systems, Stanford University. Focused ...

Moderated by

  • Laura D'Andrea Tyson Laura D'Andrea Tyson
    Professor, Business Administration and Economics, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, USA

    Clinton Administration: 1993-95, Chair, Council of Economic Advisers; 1995-96, Director, National Ec...