Entrepreneurial progress is made in a nation when leaders inspire, transform and generate jobs and opportunities. That means tax incentives for new businesses. In emerging markets, it also calls for the introduction of incentives for entrepreneurs and the bold people who join them — their employees — to get the equivalent of capital gains treatment for thebenefits they acquire based on the risks they are taking.
The United States has great examples of how this ethos works (despite it being somewhat under fire as we work our way out of the financial crisis). India, China and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) would be well served by meeting these regulatory demands, which liberate human potential.
Here we are in 2011. The MENA is ripe for growth,Brazil and India are on the rise and China is aspiring for world leadership.But none of this will happen without a strong foundation inentrepreneurship.
Amjad Aryan, for one, is helping to build this foundation inhis native Jordan and throughout the entire MENA region. Ten years ago, he usedhis savings to open the first Pharmacy 1 store in Amman; last summer he openedhis 48th store, the single largest pharmacy in the Middle East. With a newbranch in Saudi Arabia, Pharmacy 1 is now the first regional pharmacy chain. AsAryan builds his pharmaceutical empire, he is also becoming a role model for anew generation of entrepreneurs. Pharmacy 1 has grown its revenues by 66percent over the last year and provided jobs for more than 400 employees bybasing its model around its people, superior customer service and solidbusiness acumen.
But it’s the global community of entrepreneurs — and thenetwork that supports them — that will help propel high-impact companies suchas Pharmacy 1 to the next level. Endeavor not only introduced Aryan to a topexecutive at leading British pharmacy chain Boots but also to the founder ofFarmacity, the largest retail chain in Argentina. The foundation for globalentrepreneurship is no longer only built between developed nations and emergingmarkets but also between emerging countries.
Let’s take a particularly daunting place to start abusiness: Egypt. Its fiscal laws and procedures regulating start-ups arecomplex and challenging. Filing bankruptcy is illegal and can lead toimprisonment.
However, entrepreneurs such as Omar Fathy are unfazed. In 2002,the aspiring Egyptian restaurateur sold his car in order to invest in his firstestablishment in the resort town of Sharm El Sheikh. Rather than invest inadvertising, Omar took a riskier and more creative path: he purchasedhigh-quality ingredients, sold items below cost and let word-of-mouth do therest. Omar has built his company, Divine Worx, into the first homegrown,multi-branded restaurant chain in Egypt. With its four unique brands, DivineWorx operates more than 10 restaurants in four major cities, employs more than350 staff and serves hundreds of thousands of customers every year. In acountry where nearly one-third of the capital city’s restaurants are impersonalfast food chains, Omar and Divine Worx are providing differentiated concepts targetedat and tailored to the Egyptian consumer.
Entrepreneurship is the key to a smooth landing for aglobalizing world, from economics to politics. Entrepreneurship is motivatingyoung people of the next generation globally and inspiring them to realize theirdreams for a brighter and better future. Entrepreneurs think big. They alsothink globally and need transnational relationships. Their thoughts may bemotivated by profit, but the outcome leads to new relationships, new frontiersand greater global understanding.
Global entrepreneurship is here to stay and grow. Itwas a concept before Endeavor created the globally networked construct ofglobal entrepreneurship, the only network in the world dedicated tothis. It is real and taking flight. We need to support this movementfrom Argentina to Lebanon, from Kenya to Vietnam. Young women and men aredreaming of something big — something that can transform their lives and impacttheir countries and the world.
PETER KELLNER is co-founder of Endeavor Global, the world’s leading
organization devoted to high-impact entrepreneurship in emerging countries