The Sch­wab Foun­da­tion an­nounces, its re­gional "En­trepreneurs of the Year 2015"

Middle East Business (English) - - FRONT PAGE -

The ob­jec­tive of this par­tic­u­lar study is to iden­tify the spe­cific fac­tors that are sig­nif­i­cant in ex­plain­ing/de­ter­min­ing en­tre­pre­neur­ial ac­tiv­ity rates in Pales­tine, and es­pe­cially across gen­der, so as to for­mu­late poli­cies that aim to pro­mote or fos­ter en­trepreneur­ship in the coun­try.The main hy­poth­e­sis to be tested is whether “fear of fail­ure” is a sig­nif­i­cant fac­tor in ex­plain­ing gen­der dif­fer­ences in en­tre­pre­neur­ial ac­tiv­ity rates in Pales­tine? We utilise GEM’s Adult Pop­u­la­tion Sur­vey (APS) data which is col­lected either by phone or face-to-face in­ter­views. The sam­ple size is roughly 2,000 ob­ser­va­tions based upon pop­u­la­tion cen­sus and strat­i­fied by age, gen­der, and gov­er­norate and pos­si­bly other strat­i­fi­ca­tion.

Method­ol­ogy

A com­bi­na­tion of tech­niques and mod­els were used - in­clud­ing the con­di­tional mixed process, multi­no­mial logit and logit re­gres­sion mod­els - which deal with cat­e­gor­i­cal data. By ap­ply­ing such mod­els on the datasets, it is pos­si­ble to mea­sure how each char­ac­ter­is­tic of a per­son can af­fect, in­di­vid­u­ally, the propen­sity of en­trepreneur­ship. The anal­y­sis was per­formed for both men and women sep­a­rately, in or­der to as­sess whether fear of fail­ure has a dif­fer­en­tial im­pact along gen­der lines.

Re­sults

Re­sults in­di­cate that fear of fail­ure is found to be sig­nif­i­cant in low­er­ing the prob­a­bil­ity of en­trepreneur­ship, that is the more risk aver­sion, the less en­tre­pre­neur­ial propen­sity. On the con­trary, skill per­cep­tion seems to be al­ways sig­nif­i­cant in in­creas­ing the pre­dicted prob­a­bil­ity of en­tre­pre­neur­ial propen­sity for both men and women, and it is ex­pected to re­duce sig­nif­i­cantly the pre­dicted prob­a­bil­ity of fear of fail­ure.

On the other hand, af­ter con­trol­ling for all other fac­tors and char­ac­ter­is­tics, re­sults in­di­cate that women are less likely to be en­trepreneurs than men, and that this dif­fer­ence is mainly due to “un­ob­served fac­tors”. In­deed, it seems that the gen­der gap in en­tre­pre­neur­ial ac­tiv­ity rates can­not be ex­plained by dif­fer­ences in fear of fail­ure. Part of this gap can be ex­plained by dif­fer­ences in other con­trolled fac­tors – such as ed­u­ca­tion, age, in­come, and skill per­cep­tion.

Fur­ther­more, re­sults show that be­ing in the low­est or mid­dle in­come per­centile in­creases the prob­a­bil­ity of fear of fail­ure for both men and women. It is also found that ed­u­ca­tion af­fects fear of fail­ure in a sim­i­lar man­ner for men as it does for women. In ad­di­tion, cul­tural con­texts, such as, reli­gion, lo­cal tra­di­tions and ex­pec­ta­tions to­wards fe­male roles, might have a greater in­flu­ence, mainly in ru­ral ar­eas, on fe­males’ en­tre­pre­neur­ial per­cep­tion, and they might re­duce their en­trepreneur­ship propen­sity.

Poli­cies are needed to pro­mote and en­cour­age fe­male en­trepreneur­ship and em­pow­er­ment to re­duce the gen­der gap. Pro­mot­ing a fe­male’s skill per­cep­tion, ed­u­ca­tion, vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion, in­creas­ing ac­cess to fi­nance sources, net­work­ing, eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties, as well as shar­ing of house­hold re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, could help tackle some of the un­ob­served fac­tors that in­flu­ence women’s fear of fail­ure and en­tre­pre­neur­ial op­por­tu­ni­ties. At the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum's re­cent Dead Sea meet­ing in Jor­dan, the Sch­wab Foun­da­tion for So­cial En­trepreneur­ship an­nounced its re­gional win­ners for 2015. Thirty-three win­ners were se­lected in recog­ni­tion of their in­no­va­tive ap­proaches and po­ten­tial for global im­pact. Sev­eral win­ners were an­nounced by Mrs Sch­wab, found­ing mem­ber of the Sch­wab Foun­da­tion along with her hus­band 35 years ago, and in the pres­ence of Jor­dan's King Ab­dul­lah II. Maysoun Odeh Gan­gat, founder and Di­rec­tor of Nissa FM, was recog­nised with an award at the cer­e­mony for cre­at­ing a Pales­tinian ra­dio sta­tion ex­clu­sively tar­get­ing women in the Mid­dle East. When speak­ing with Mid­dle East Busi­ness, Maysoun ex­pressed her sur­prise, joy and pride at win­ning this pres­ti­gious award, say­ing that it recog­nises not only her ef­forts, but also those of her team and part­ners who've worked tire­lessly since Nissa FM's launch four years ago. As the first ra­dio sta­tion specif­i­cally cre­ated for women in Pales­tine, her aim was to en­rich women's lives through their daily broad­casts (the word nissa means women in Ara­bic). The def­i­ni­tion of a so­cial en­tre­pre­neur by the Sch­wab Foun­da­tion con­cen­trates upon the fact that so­cial en­trepreneurs drive so­cial in­no­va­tion and trans­for­ma­tion in var­i­ous fields in­clud­ing ed­u­ca­tion, health, en­vi­ron­ment and en­ter­prise devel­op­ment. They pur­sue poverty al­le­vi­a­tion goals with en­tre­pre­neur­ial zeal, busi­ness meth­ods and the courage to in­no­vate and over­come tra­di­tional prac­tices. A so­cial en­tre­pre­neur, sim­i­lar to a busi­ness en­tre­pre­neur, builds strong and sus­tain­able or­gan­i­sa­tions, which are either set up as non­profit or for-profit so­cial en­ter­prises. The Sch­wab Foun­da­tion for So­cial En­trepreneur­ship pro­vides un­par­al­leled plat­forms at the re­gional and global level to high­light and ad­vance lead­ing mod­els of sus­tain­able so­cial in­no­va­tion. It iden­ti­fies a se­lect com­mu­nity of so­cial en­trepreneurs and en­gages it in shap­ing global, re­gional and in­dus­try agen­das that im­prove the state of the world in close col­lab­o­ra­tion with the other stake­hold­ers of the WEF.

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