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More Than One in Seven Young Arabs Plan to Start a Business

More Than One in Seven Young Arabs Plan to Start a Business

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Young Arabs show a relatively high interest in launching businesses in the next year. Overall, 15% of 15- to 29-year-olds across the Arab League member countries Gallup surveyed in 2010 plan to launch a business in the next 12 months, compared with 4% of young people in North America or Europe.

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These findings are based on the third installment of Gallup's report, The Silatech Index: Voices of Young Arabs, which highlights various challenges that young Arabs face as they seek employment within and outside the region. The Silatech Index is a product of a multi-year research initiative, undertaken by Gallup in partnership with Silatech, that explores the opinions of young people across 19 countries in the Arab League and the Somaliland region.

Aspiring entrepreneurs are more likely to report being employed (44%) than young people from the region who have no intention to create a business (26%). Further, budding entrepreneurs (60%) are far more likely than those who do not have entrepreneurial ambitions (48%) to say they are satisfied with the freedom they have to choose what to do with their lives.

Entrepreneurial ambitions also vary greatly at different income levels. Among the young people in the Arab League who want to start a business within the next year, 57% of them live in middle-income countries, 32% of them live in low-income countries, and 12% reside in high-income countries. Among aspiring entrepreneurs, the report further categorizes those planning to start a business in the next 12 months as "opportunity-driven" vs. "necessity-driven" to more closely understand the challenges each type of aspiring entrepreneur faces and his or her motivations.


Overall, young Arabs prefer to work for the government rather than in the private sector. Even those who plan to start a business are more likely to say they would prefer to have a government job than a job in the private sector, 45% vs. 33%, respectively.


In addition to examining young Arabs' entrepreneurial inclinations, the latest report focuses on specific topics such as their desire to migrate, their perceptions on a "green economy" and the environment, job creation in conflict-influenced areas, and differences across gender lines. The report also includes detailed country-level findings from the 19 countries surveyed reporting on the aspirations and realities most young people across the region face as they launch their careers.

For complete data sets or custom research from the more than 150 countries Gallup continually surveys, please contact or call 202.715.3030.

Survey Methods

Results are based on face-to-face interviews with 10,018 country nationals, aged 15 to 29, conducted in February-April 2010 in 18 countries that are members of the Arab League and the Somaliland region and in Djibouti in March-August 2009. For results based on the total sample of national youth, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error ranges from ±4.3 percentage points in the Djibouti to ±6.5 percentage points in Kuwait. The margin of error reflects the influence of data weighting. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

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