Key Concepts from Social Entrepreneurship in the Middle East

Old practice, new concept.

Social enterprise activities in the aforementioned region have their roots in the solidarity ideal, with most providing refuge to the underprivileged without government funding. Natives normally assist the poor via initiatives such as cooperatives and mutual insurance funds. However, many are not conversant with the conception “social entrepreneurship”. Further, coming up with a translation term that fits the local context has proven to be quite a challenge.

Variety of legal frameworks.

Social franchises in the Middle East do not have a legal structure to properly represent them in the marketplace. Most categorize themselves as constituents in the informal sector. The registered ones on the other hand take various forms including non-state organizations, private businesses, civil companies, or cooperatives. Others combine these aspects to accrue aggregate benefits from the distinct systems. For instance, a web based education social business in Egypt is listed as a non-profit to acquire donor funding and also a corporation to generate net earnings while avoiding state prosecution on tax evasion.


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