If challenges alone created opportunity, the Middle East would be primed for social enterprise. Several countries across the region have youth unemployment rates hovering above 30 percent; job creation is needed far more than job seekers. Meanwhile, governments are struggling to cope with a range of social needs and market failures, exacerbated by humanitarian crises and conflict.
So no wonder social enterprise is a buzzword at the moment in the region, and being seen as a way to solve serious problems while employing growing numbers of youth. Countless governments, philanthropists and NGOs are pushing to foster and promote entrepreneurs. The idea of social enterprise is cropping up everywhere from finance and transport to refugee employment and healthcare.