Many analysts point to lack of economic opportunity and under utilized human capital as the root issue of the crisis unfolding in Egypt. The country ranks #50 on the 2011 Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index, with its strongest score on the Aspirations index.
The GEDI, a new measure of entrepreneurship in 71 countries, is composed of three sub-indexes – Entrepreneurial Attitudes, Entrepreneurial Actions and Entrepreneurial Aspirations. GEDI captures the contextual features of entrepreneurship by measure both quantitative and qualitative features of entrepreneurship at both the individual and institutional levels.
Attitudes is Egypt’s weakest score, Attitudes is driven by an poor scores on networking and opportunity perception. The networking variable measures how many people know someone who launched a new business within the last two years and the percentage of the population that uses the internet. The opportunity perception variable measures how many people perceive good opportunities where they live and a country’s marketsize and level of urbanization.
Egypt’s score on the Aspirations index (48/71) is driven by its higher than expected score on risk capital — a measure of both formal and informal capital available in a country.
As far as Egypt’s neighbors go:
United Arab Emirates #24
Saudi Arabia #30
GEDI is a measure of the contextual environment for high impact entrepreneurship. This is different from small business and self-employment, both central to strong economies, but not the same as high impact entrepreneurs.