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Volume Three                                                                    Winter 2003-Spring 2004                                                         Numbers 3-4.

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   CULTURAL PERCEPTIONS OF SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CHANGES WITHIN ENTREPRENEURIAL

  BUSINESSES IN THE MENA REGION

 

  Philippe W. Zgheib

  Suliman S. Olayan School of Business

  American University of Beirut

  Bliss Street - Ras Beirut, Lebanon

  Published online: February 10, 2017

  ABSTRACT

This article presents a theoretical background for the economic functions of entrepreneurship, some features of small and medium sized firms with a special focus on the Arab region, and how they are manifested at the macroeconomic level in Lebanon and Arab countries. The article begins with an identification of cultural constraints to entrepreneurial activities across the Middle East from both a socio-cultural and politico-economic perspectives. The leading constraints have been the rigidity of public institutions and the overpowering patriarchal family oriented governance system. The region is then grouped into three areas of distinct entrepreneurial development based on entrepreneurial motivators. These factors set apart three main geopolitical areas of the region: (1) the Gulf area with nine countries, mostly affected by economic incentives; (2) the confrontation states of the Middle East with six countries, mostly affected by socio-psychological changes; and (3) North Africa with seven countries affected by both economic and socio-psychological factors. Finally, the article focuses on Lebanon, one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the Middle East. Perceptions of wealth are identified within Lebanon, using focus group sur­veys, as well as intensive interviews of representative business professionals. 

 

IDO        ISSN: 1093-8281                 Copyright © 2017 International Development Options

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