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CAIRO BOOKS's Description
The commonly held perception is that businesses owned by women in the Middle
East and North Africa are small and informal, that they re less sophisticated,
and that they re huddled in low-value-added sectors. In fact, as The
Environment for Women s Entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa
shows, there is very little difference between mail- and female-owned firms.
Female-owned firms in the region are as well-established, productive,
technologically savvy, and connected to global markets as male-owned firms.
Although there are many similar characteristics and performance levels between
male- and female-owned firms in the region, the book notes that women s
entrepreneurship isn t reaching its potential, despite an investment climate
that is much less gendered than suspected. With a significant increase in women
s education level in 11 out of 18 countries in the region women outnumber men
in universities and the strong economic rights women have in Islam, women s
entrepreneurship can become a far greater engine for growth and diversification
than expected in the past. This potential needs to be exploited vigorously.
Reforming the investment climate to benefit all players is one important
action. The second would be to remove or mitigate hurdles to their economic and