Social Enterprises and Employment: Case Studies from Egypt

Racha Ramadan

The social economy is considered a key factor in providing employment opportunities and improving living conditions for vulnerable groups. Although there are no official statistics regarding the number of social enterprises in Egypt, the growing number of different actors in the ecosystem, as intermediary support organisations, indicates the prosperity of social economy. Based on eight case studies of social enterprises in Egypt, the discussion in this research shows that social enterprises mostly attract young, educated Egyptians. They operate in different sectors, such as education, the environment and crafts. They generate direct and indirect economic opportunities, mainly for women, young people and informal workers. However, limited access to financial resources and the non-existence of a legal framework for social enterprises are two major barriers to the development of social enterprises in Egypt. These barriers constrain their potential role in facilitating the formalisation of informal employment.

On the Relationship between Financial Inclusion and Bank Performance

Thankom Arun, Claudia Girardone, Anna Sarkisyan, Mais Sha’ban,

We explore the relationship between different measures of financial inclusion and banks’ performance across a global sample of countries, characterised by different institutional and regulatory environments and income levels. We employ principal component analysis to construct an aggregate bank performance index, composed of a set of key indicators summarised by the CAMEL rating system, including banks’ solvency, asset quality, efficiency, profitability, and liquidity.
Our main findings suggest that different inclusion measures can have a different association with bank performance. Specifically, there seems to be a trade-off between bank performance and increased financial deepening, particularly in high income countries. In contrast, greater financial inclusion, measured as deposits to GDP, number of deposits, and number of borrowers, does not seem to adversely affect bank performance in low income countries. In fact, we find that banks in low income countries could achieve significant gains from improving financial access and enhancing the regulatory environment.

Nascent and Innovative Entrepreneurship, the Emergence of Startups in Tunisia: Evidence from a Qualitative Survey

Rim Mouelhi, Sarra Ben Slimane, Moez Ben Tahar

The purpose of this work is to understand the emergence and evolution process of nascent and innovative entrepreneurship, the constraints and challenges faced by Tunisian startups, the success factors and, finally, how to support the emergence, sustainability and growth of nascent entrepreneurs. This is done via a questionnaire and interviews with 30 nascent startups housed in incubators or accelerators. The survey results confirm the ability and the capacity of startups to scale up, to generate growth and to create good jobs, especially for young adults and graduates. According to the survey results, Tunisian startups are facing a number of obstacles which hamper their development, especially access to financial resources in the early stages, but also skills shortage, cumbersome administration, lack of raw materials etc.

Empirical results also highlight the importance of training, incubation and all support actions for startups. This support is especially useful at an early stage, where the survival rate of startups is generally low.

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