At Leading in Local: ILM 2013: The Entrepreneurial Revolution – Lessons from The Middle East

At some point, every business begins as a start-up. Christopher M. Schroeder, in his informative session here at Local in Leading in San Francisco, provided deep insight into the development of commerce and vertical and local services where highly motivated people find success. Most of the dialogue in this case was centered on the Middle East. Schroeder in his dialogue introduces the notion that start-ups no longer begin with the premise that they need to be big in America to be successful.

“There are many lessons to learn from regions that never knew land lines,” said Schroeder. “When a society has ubiquitous access to technology, it becomes part of the fabric of the society. That fact was the most surprising when I visited different areas of the Middle East.”

The narrative of innovation centers being pair to single regions of the world or types of individuals is changing with people who are accessing technologies that weren’t available before. Two examples cited by Schroeder included the economic development of Dubai and women entrepreneurs in the Middle East. Dubai just over 10 years ago was majority desert. However, with the introduction of technology, Dubai has making it stance as a global economic center. The second example mentioned women entrepreneurs. To Schroeder’s surprise, 25 percent of start-up businesses (especially in e-commerce) are run and created by women entrepreneurs.

Schroeder concluded the session with a question that we all should think about some more, “What is the world going to be like when the remaining 5 billion people in the world gets access to technologies that were never available before?”

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