Region
Middle East & North Africa

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"This assessment was conducted by a mixed international-local team with youth participation, and is the first of a series of labor market assessments to be conducted under the Workforce Connections project. The methodology builds on standard approaches to understanding labor markets used in the past by USAID, other donors, governments, and private organizations, with the addition of a more focused economic analysis which makes it possible to generate deeper insight into the drivers of skills demand. Results from this and the other Workforce Connections assessments, and the tools used to generate them, will be shared and further refined through the project's Community of Practice over the coming year. The assessment also contains a summary of lessons learned about workforce development programming."

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"This report unpacks why women's entrepreneurship is good for business and is essential for economic growth. Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a key driver of economic growth, and women-owned enterprises account for approximately 30-37 percent (8-10 million) of all SMEs in emerging markets. As such, women are the fastest-growing market segment, they start businesses at a higher rate than men, and it is expected that they will create approximately 50 percent of new small business jobs by 2018. In developing economies, SMEs are increasingly important, as they contribute to nearly half of the labor force."

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"Opportunity-driven entrepreneurs generate much of Africa's employment, income and hope for a better future. But how are these companies progressing over time? This question is answered in the VC4Africa 2015 Venture Finance in Africa report.

This report captures the performance of ventures listed on the Venture Capital 4 Africa online platform and highlights the activity of investors' part of the network. As the community continues to grow, it is expected this yearly report will lend insights into what is happening across the larger startup space. The report breaks down insights across 5 indicators: employment, performance, investments, investors and ecosystem."

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"Fintech recently became the most-active sector for startup investment in the Middle East and North Africa. While much of the media coverage has focused on digital payments and e-commerce, this report will highlight fintech innovation that is improving "financial health" for the region's most marginalized communities: tech that helps people manage their income and expenses, weather financial shocks and plan for a healthy financial future."

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"Tech start-ups are an effective mechanism to both create local technology and absorb foreign technology. The objective of this report is to provide a better understanding of the status of Beirut's start-up ecosystem and provide policy recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders who are interested in supporting the growth and sustainability of the ecosystem. The report is based on an in-depth survey of startups and supportive stakeholders of the ecosystem. The findings point out to an early-to middle stage start-up ecosystem that has passed its nascent growth phase but is still far from maturity. Skills, supportive infrastructure, finance pipeline, and community and networks are examined and gaps are identified. Policy recommendations to tackle these gaps are presented based on international practices."

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