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The other revolution bubbling in the Middle East

Kai Ryssdal Aug 12, 2013
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For the past couple of years, the revolutions of the Arab Spring have dominated the news out of the Middle East region. But Chris Schroeder, author of “Startup Rising: The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East,” says there’s another revolution that’s quietly emerging that deserves attention: growing entrepreneurship.

From Cairo to Lebanon, Schroeder says thousands of entrepreneurs are successfully problem solving and adapting ideas for the Middle Eastern populations. He also says e-commerce is seeing a stable growth in the region.

“The big story of the Middle East is the mass penetration of mobile devices. What you’re talking about is super-computing capacity in the hands of 50 to 60 to 70 to 80 percent of people,” says Schroeder.

And despite widespread youth unemployment and problems with infrastructure and human rights issues,  Schroeder says innovative people will find solutions to help alleviate these problems.

“As you look around places like China, India, Brazil, where 10 years ago, 15 years ago we wouldn’t have really thought very highly about them as ecosystems,” he says. “Also, unbelievable, interesting things have happened there.”

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