Cairo, Egypt, July 19, 2016–A report
sponsored by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and conducted by the
Wamda Research Lab, has found that although entrepreneurs are creating
jobs in the Middle East and North Africa, they often struggle to find and
retain talented employees.
The report, done in partnership with
Bayt and Beirut Digital District, found that just 12 percent of people
want to work for a startup. Most would be happier working for a large corporation
(64 percent) or in government (51 percent). That talent crunch often limits
startups, a potentially valuable source of jobs, from reaching their potential.
To reverse the trend, the report says entrepreneurs need to offer more
incentives to employees, including stock options, and look for talent in
new places, like universities.
“Startups have to tap into a pool of
talented workers in order to be able to scale, create jobs, and drive the
kind of economic growth this region so badly needs.” says Elias Boustani,
Head of Operations at Wamda.
The report, titled Access to Talent
for MENA's Entrepreneurs, surveyed 963 entrepreneurs and 1,697 workers.
In another key result, it found that while startups have openings, they
often struggle to find employees with the right technical and soft skills.
“MENA, more than most regions, faces
the acute challenge of generating a large number of jobs very quickly,”
said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“Startups can help create jobs, but the region also needs an active, agile
private education sector that will equip students with the skills they
need to take advantage of those openings.”
Here are other key findings from
more than 90 percent of entrepreneurs plan to hire in the next year, just
12 percent of the workforce said they would like to work for a startup.
skills remain a big challenge for entrepreneurs, with those surveyed having
difficulty finding employees who are motivated (42 percent), independent
(39 percent), and with a high aptitude (37 percent).
have difficulty finding hires with sales (28 percent), business development
(27 percent), and management (24 percent) skills.
the exception of the United Arab Emirates, 94 percent of entrepreneurs
hire locally even though they are aware there is talent in other countries.
The most qualified regional workforces are thought to be in Jordan, Lebanon,
is a gap between salary expectations and salaries offered. Just over 50
percent of entrepreneurs in MENA offer salaries ranging from $250 to $1,000
per month, but only 13 percent of the workforce is willing to work for
less than $1,000 per month.
About Wamda Research Lab (WRL)
WRL is Wamda’s research program that
produces studies on entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa
(MENA)and seeks to foster thought leadership in this field. Its agenda
is to inform investors, policymakers, and other stakeholders on barriers
to and solutions for developing entrepreneurship in MENA.
is the number one job site in the Middle East, offering
a complete range
of end-to-end employment solutions and career planning tools. Founded in
is fully functional in English, Arabic, and French. It offers the fastest,
easiest, most effective and cost-efficient methods for employers to find
quality candidates, and for job seekers to find top jobs, in the Middle
East and North Africa.
About Beirut Digital District (BDD)
BDD is a hub for the digital and creative industries in Lebanon. BDD provides
a state-of-the-art business environment, value-added services, and infrastructure
so that companies can increase their productivity and grow. BDD also offers
a healthy living environment where this young and dynamic workforce can
work and live with their families.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working
with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to
create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments
in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, leveraging our capital,
expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty
and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.