Social Entrepreneurship in the Middle East

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Social Entrepreneurship in the Middle East 2010

The Brookings Institution's Report on Social Entrepreneurship in the Middle East addresses the possibilities for sustainable development for the next generation:

Despite the promise of an increasingly educated population of young people, the Middle East’s “youth bulge” generates pressure on education systems, labor markets, health care, natural resources and infrastructure. In this context, and with constrained public and private resources, traditional development frameworks in the Middle East are proving inadequate and are in need of transformation.

Within the complex ecosystem of domestic governments, international donors, private businesses and individual philanthropists, the emerging model of social entrepreneurship offers potential as being one model to address the multi-sectoral challenges young people face in the Middle East.

This report draws on existing literature to focus on four central principles of social entrepreneurship:

- Achievement of positive social impact: Social entrepreneurship re- sponds to communities that have been marginalized or excluded by existing market actors and non-market institutions;

- Non-conventional thinking: Social entrepreneurship aims for what Joseph Schumpeter called “creative destruction,” a revolutionary transformation of a pattern of production which is often associated with entrepreneurship at large but, in the case of social entrepreneurship, is applied to social challenges;

- Use of sustainable methods: Social entrepreneurship must include a strategy for achieving financial sustainability, such as earning income; and,

- Innovation that can be adapted and “scaled up” beyond the local context: It is by pioneering ideas that can be applied at a larger scale that social entrepreneur- ship is able to contribute to systemic and path-breaking change.

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