The AMENA (Asia, Middle East, and North Africa) Center for Entrepreneurship and Development leverages the strengths of the University of California at Berkeley to alleviate the region’s entrepreneurship, innovation, intra-preneurship, skills, and gender gaps.

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The graph depicts the contrast between social progress vs. economic progress in selected countries in the Middle East and Asia. Shades of yellow represent greater social as opposed to economic progress, while shades of blue characterize greater economic progress.

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The map depicts social vs. economic progress in Africa. The most numerous, educated, urbanized, and connected population in the AMENA region’s history, meanwhile, is frequently inhibited in its ability to fulfill its potential. This paves the way for socio-economic and political tensions, ranging from alienation, depression, addiction, prostitution and, in rare instances, attraction to radical and violent ideologies.

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Many AMENA states have achieved almost universal literacy among their youth (15-24 year olds), enroll increasing numbers of students in tertiary education, and have increasing numbers of post-secondary graduates. Yet, rising numbers of graduates and at least 50 percent of educated females are unemployed. A significant, though unknown, proportion are underemployed. Muslim majority countries in the AMENA region are beset by the highest youth and female unemployment and under-employment rates in the world.

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In many AMENA nations, particularly the Muslim majority states, improvements in social development (quantity of education, literacy, and public health) have not been matched by corresponding gains in economic development (entrenchment of growing, inclusive, productive, diversified, innovative, and high value added economies).

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The social vs. economic development gap has been accompanied and exacerbated by gender, entrepreneurship, skills, and innovation gaps. The region also suffers from an intra-preneurship gap in both private and public organizations.

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