Entrepreneurial Networking in the Middle East and North Africa

Social networks are important sources of advice and contribute to entrepreneurs' success in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). New research will encourage collaboration among Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) researchers and generate knowledge in this new area of study.

Twenty-four researchers from 12 MENA countries and Pakistan will prepare and publish a set of empirical research papers on entrepreneurship in the region. Their papers will appear in a special 2013 issue of the new Journal of Global Entrepreneurship Research.

In the absence of public or private professional advisory and support services, MENA entrepreneurs must rely on advice obtained through their network of contacts to launch and run their businesses. The research will examine the characteristics and impact of different types of networking support on sub-groups of entrepreneurs, including men, women, youth, or mature entrepreneurs. Using pooled GEM data collected through standardized surveys in each of the participating countries, they will also look at varying levels of education among entrepreneurs and examine differences between people from poor or more privileged households.

The University of Southern Denmark is leading the project, with some support from IDRC's Regional Office in Cairo. Professor Thomas Schott, leader of the GEM national research team in Denmark, will serve as mentor. Researchers will participate in a week-long methodological training workshop in Cairo as part of the research capacity-building component of the project.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

End Date

Saturday, June 21, 2014


24 months

IDRC Officer

Boutros, Iris

Total funding

CA$ 134,200


Middle East, North of Sahara, South of Sahara, Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia, Pakistan, Denmark


Employment and Growth

Project Leader

Thomas Schott


University of Southern Denmark

Institution Country


Institution Website