The optimism and euphoria that started the Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt early last year has given way to a harsh reality in places like Syria, Libya, Bahrain and Yemen. Amidst the uncertainty of the volatile region that is the Middle East, aspiring entrepreneurs are looking to recruit talented young people to join their startups. Most of the uprisings and protests in the region have been initiated and led by young people (Middle East has one of the highest youth populations in the world), whose list of grievances against long serving despots include a lack of employment and overall opportunities.
As expected, there is a lack of potential, eligible and willing candidates for the openings at the startups. The primary reason is the uncertainty and future of the region. With the government crackdown on protestors in Syria garnering worldwide condemnation coupled with some unrest in Egypt and Libya and a host of other diplomatic issues, the Middle East doesn’t seem an appealing place to many young people. A lack of mentors and model businesses in place for the aspiring entrepreneurs to draw inspiration from and complex local laws have all added to the barriers of a successful startup culture in the region.