August 17th, 2013
02:29 AM ET

How entrepreneurship is thriving in the Middle East

Watch the full interview on "Fareed Zakaria GPS," this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

Fareed speaks with Chris Schroeder, an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, about entrepreneurship in the Middle East.

But the states of the Arab world are highly statist…I don't think of them as places where you would see the growth of entrepreneurship.

One of the great stories about entrepreneurship now is the fact that so much is happening bottom-up, again, enabled by technology. And so as you know better than anyone, all emerging markets have tremendous complexity and histories and legacies to work at.

But all of a sudden, when young people have these devices in their hands and they have the access to technology, they can collaborate, share ideas and solve problems in very, very different ways.

So what have you found going around?

So what I've found overall are sort of three buckets of entrepreneurs. And by the way, this is as true in North Africa as in Yemen, in the midst of all the things that are going on. As you see often in emerging markets, you have entrepreneurs who are taking things that have been successful elsewhere and they're taking it to the Middle East.

So there's a wonderful company called Maktoob, which was the Yahoo! of the Middle East, which, by the way, Yahoo! bought for almost $200 million. There's another great company called Souq.com, which is a multi-hundred million dollar company, which is very much like the Amazon.com of the Middle East.

But one of the most exciting things that I see are these young people who look at the problems around them, they use technology to solve them. So traffic is terrible in Cairo, as you know. And so now there are several wonderful apps to crowd share how you can get through and navigate traffic.

I would say as much as 15 percent of the start-ups I see are education. I mean, a lot of people don't realize, in Egypt alone, that tutoring, supplemental education, is already a $2 billion business. And now technology is coming in to not only bring courses in videos online in Arabic, like Khan Academy, [but can] now can reach hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of more people.

And, of course, everything is one click away, which means that some of these companies I'm seeing are right now reaching American audiences. I discovered, a year ago, that I'd been using, for six months, a weather app. I had no idea it was made by 30 young people in Alexandria, Egypt, but I had it because I can access it in ways you could never before.

And the youth is a large part of your story. We often hear about the youth bulge in the Middle East, you know, whatever it is, about 60 percent of the Middle East...

Yes.

…is under 35.  But you see that as actually one of the advantages powering this entrepreneurial environment?

So it's an advantage with a caution.  So if you compare the youth bulge in the Middle East compared to the opposite in Japan, I'm very, very optimistic about the potential there. But as you know better than anyone, when you have a youth bulge that is unemployed or not working, this has other, very interesting ramifications.

What is important is, as more and more young people have access to technology, they have more and more opportunity to take initiative into their own hands and create things which I think are very, very powerful in the ways I don’t believe government or traditional business will be able to absorb that bubble.

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Topics: GPS Episodes • Middle East

soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. George patton

    I guess that the right-wing thugs in Both Washington and London means that the young people in the Middle East will soon cease to chant "Allahu Akbar" and start chanting "Allahu Akbar but, Capitalismhu Akbar-er" and "Praise the West" and it's all powerful military forces!!!

    August 17, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  2. horuspineal

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    August 17, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Reply
  3. horuspineal

    WORDPRESS HAS PREVENTED ME FROM POSTING ANY MORE INFORMATION, SO NOW I POST AT BLOGGER. VISIT MY NEW WEBSITE: http://metaphysicsofpolitics.blogspot.com/

    August 17, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Reply
  4. fgdfgd

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    August 17, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Reply
  5. fgdfgdsfgsdfg

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    August 17, 2013 at 10:10 pm | Reply
  6. Souq.com

    You mean Souq.com, not Soup.com!

    August 19, 2013 at 9:46 am | Reply
  7. j. von hettlingen

    Indeed one sees the extreme in the Middle East. On the one hand you have smart youngsters in Alexandria who are tech-savvy. On the other hand you have oodles of young people who aren't educated and can't find jobs.
    The governments there ignore the importance of providing for an universal education. That's why we see these standoffs in Egypt.

    August 20, 2013 at 10:45 am | Reply
  8. Michael Duerksen

    Deviation to geneological discussion here please: I am Michael Dean Minton Fariss Minton Rollins Gallatt Navaho Kirby Lewis Lloyd Fraley Ratzlaff ( Spoetzel ? ) Duerksen ...that is from Baron Von Durk. A breakdown of this name would be: Fariss (Pharis spartan kings- Faris Arabian Rajas) Rollins (Rollo Viking kings- French Normandy dukes-French Cajun ) Gallatt ( French Gallant-Main Cajun) Kirby ( Sir Richard Kirkeby to Ogle, Hilton, Tunstall, Moore, Salisbury, Mosley, to Winston Churchill and George Windsor V to Queen Elizabeth II ), Navaho from great grandfather Lt Rollins USArmy wife, Lewis ( Levi..Louis, Ludwig, Llewellyn....kings, etc..), Lloyd ( to Hemingway....Middleton, Davenport ), Fraley ( Froelich ....is ancient surname Ashkenazi closely to first Pharoah, that is Mizraim, then house of Treves, then ancient Spanish kings to Milesius or Gallam, father of Ireland. ) Rothschild: Duerksen is related via ancestral surnames such as Thierry, Durk in French, and Fraley is noted to have 123 US marriages to Rothschild, but I cannot demonstrate a Rothschild surname so far in my imnediate family though some believe it to be found in Andrew Fraley' s family tree, my grandfather on my mother' s side. Ratzlaff ( Germanic famous warrior from Helena Ratzlaff Duerksen born 1871 and died in 1937 in Oklahoma and did marry my Greatgrandad Corlelious Duerksen, son of Baron Von Durk. Von Durk is royal form of Durk and Durk is the bloodline of Mattatyahu, the oldest family in the world, Math, Mathies, Maat, Mateo ( Teo, Teodoric, Theodoric, Durk), Maat, Ma-at, Mattathias, Matthew, Matthiessen ( Thiessen, Thiessen, Thies, Ties, Durk, Dirk, Derk, Doerk,...), Til, Tilton, Tillotson, Tilly, Tillman, Van Til, Tiye, Tai, Tysson, Tesson, Tiehl, Tiest, Dietz, Diedes, Dies, Diederik, Dietrich, Derk, Derryk, Terry, Teri, Thierry, Theron, Theodore, Theodoricus,,Teutorigos to Tewdwr to Tudor Tiele, Tielo, Dietrich to Trich to Trick to Troke.... Diekhaus, Tileman, and from Dirk I , graaf or count, aka Theodoric, Thierry, Dietrich I, Diederik I, comes Sigfried Oldenburg, the first Oldenburg line to Mountbatten. Durk is related to Catherine the Great of Russia, Genghis Khan, house of Windsor, is Deutschland or Germany, is Tudor kings and queen, is some Egyptian pharoahs, all Chinese Emperors, some Spartan kings, Dorian and Persian kings. Fraley is Froehlich is Ashkenazi to Windsor, Genghis Khan, Vlad Tepes Count, and may intersect with Faris at the point of Pharoah and Greek Spartan kings of Pharis and Pheries. Spoetzel: Sonfar I have not been able to locate Spoetzle relations to Duerksen in Oklahoma, but it is believed to be there and may have come from Prussia, Russia or Germany. My greatgrandad Duerksen did marry a young Russia girl just recently moved to Frankfort, Germany in roughly 1880, and they moved to the US and lived in Oklahoma where she had 12 daughters and then died in about 1895 at about 30.nHe remarried the said Helena Ratslaff and had 4 sons, the youngest being my grandad. Great grandad Duerksen diefin 1951 or so. Rumor us the name Baron Ignatius Von Durk, prince?. Thankyou gor reading this message. sincerely, Michael Duerksen

    August 29, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Reply
    • Michael Duerksen

      Same Commenter as above: The Baron Ignatius Von Durk was thrown at me, so I tried it on. I found the grave of Helens Ratzlaff Duerksen in Oklahoma and the dates match that of greatgrandfather Duerksen marriages and offsprig birthd. Plus the name is familiar to me. I have made menyion of Duerksen and Fraley to Rothschild here and there, but I have relied on information from people whom appear to be in the know instead of records, so while it is plausible for Rothschild to be relates to Fraley I don't have it in my revords so far. Minton: this name on my dad, Dr Dean Fariss Duerksen's side is fromhis grandmother May Minton whom was born in 1875 and died in 1960 after marrying the descendent of Faris Arabian Rajas and Greek Spartan kings and soldiers....Peter Fariss and had 3 daughters and one son in Mountainview , Ok. Minton is the name of the 21 or more Shropshire English Lords not to be confused with The House Of Lords whom are elected. Faris, Fariss, Farrid, Farad, Fareed, Faras, alVaraz, Ferris, Pheries, Ffaris, deFerrier, Ferguson, MacFerguson, Mac Feargaide, are the same family and do appear to connect with Fraley- Froehlich at Fairchild, Fairies, from Pheries, Ferrell, O Ferrell , Mac Fearghail and other. Devereaux, DeLuna, Davenport are secondary surnames via marriage of my brother Paul Duerksen to Beverly Devereaux and had Robert, Ben and Emily...then the late brother Joe Duerksen to Karen Davenport and Angela and Robert...part Cherokee.....then my sister Margaret Adelaide Grossenbacher Tilton Duerksen to Leo deLuna and two sons. My dad' first marriage was to Carl Lynn Gallatt Navajo Kirby Rollins Lewis Lloyd Fraley an three sons, Me, Paul and Joe, then he married Alice Adelaide Grossenbacher Tilton Duerksen and had Margaret. Alice is related to Margie Adelaide Grossenbacher of Waco, Tx and her late husband Rudy and two daughters, Rose and Gaye. Alice is the sister of Fran Adelaide Grossenbacher Tilton Shelton who's late husband was Bob Shelton the Austin, Tx Presbyterian SeminaryPresident. The third level of Duerksen family related surnames would include Middleton, Greystoke, deGrey, Tudor is Durk, and names related to the Irish monarchs of Milesius....184 monarchs from Matthias, Leveson, Mac Fearghail, MacFerguson, and we are related to Durcan, Gurkin, ODurkin, O'Gurkin, Zorkin, MacDurcan, Mac Gurkin, Mac Dhuarcaine in the O' Brien kingdom. Thankyou, Michael Duerksen.

      August 29, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Reply
      • Michael Duerksen

        One more note in reference to the above: It is not Farrid or Farrad, but is Farris and Faras, and these names are the same. Most variations if the Faris Spartan related names were understood to be in Sparta, but Pharies and Pheries were the Faris kings anf Variants of Theodore and Theodoricus were Durk. Bye.

        August 29, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • same

      Hi: Since the above commentary was written, I have done continual searching to discover my great great grand parents and in so doing I have come to realize that, for starters, my name would actually be more realistic if I typed it out like this, and these come from my great great grandparents to me : Michael Dean Minton Farris-Fariss Gullatt Cherokee Payne Harper Small Freeman Brown Parks-Kirby ( GGParents of Winston Churchill ) Rollins Lockhart Hall Martin, Vychan ap Tudor, Henderson Lewis Rothschild Phillip Lloyd Richard Bell Valentine Britton Trout ( Trautman ) Evans English Morgan Llewellyn Donnely Boone Fraley ( Froehlich-Jewish) Ratzlaff ( famed warriors ) Sparling Rath Strong Woelke Unruh ( to Holland royalty ) Friessen ( some German kings ) Pankratz ( Every conquering ) Isaacs Franz Conrad-Adams van Dirk-Thierry-Oldenburg Apachee1 ( child of Geronimo ?) Toews ( Tewdwr-Rodri Mawri descendent ) DUERKSEN from Duerk, Durk, Dirck, Dierck, von Durk, Von Duerk and Holland Van Dirk counts and rulers which are quite a few of the ancient house of Mattatyahu-Matthias-Matthew-Mattheissen-Matteo-Mattew ( Tewdwr-Tudor) Maat ( Egyptian ) Mathsin Mattson Theissen Thies Ties Tai Teo Teodoric Theodoric Durk Thies Ties Dierck Dietrich Diederick Derk Derryk Terry Thierry Tielo Tiele Til Von Till Tilly Tillotson Tillman Tilton Duelly Duerssen Tew Tewdwr Tudor Tudur, the oldest name in the world and the origins of the house of Israel. FARRIS-FARISS: this is an Arabian surname ( last name ) and it includes rajas, sultans and Arabian knights whom migrated to various states in Greece, some say at least 2500 BC and as most as 5000 BC as far as the Faris-Phariss-Pheriss kings of Greece were concerned, but I believe that the ancesters of these kings may have lived in Greece upwards of 10,000 BC or earlier. The kings of Sparta are basicly of two families in my opinion: 1. Matthias-Matthew-Durk-Theodoric coming down over 2000 years from the earlier rulers in the middle east and 2: Faris Arabians. From the Spartan king known as Phariss of Pharai, a variation of the surname Faris ( and there is a Greek province in Sparta by the name of Faris which appears to have been there before the Spartan army of legend ) comes all the Spartan kings by descent, and not only those in Sparta, but also Thesius of Athens ,the greatest Athenian king. Phariss is also a bloodline relative to the first kings of Cornwald and Britton. Faris is also Ferguson and Mac Ferguson, and Ferris, Faire, de Ferrier, Pharoah and others. Boone: my 5th great grandmother was Chloe Morgan ( or Modridge ) Donnely Boone, the sister or cousin of Daniel Boone and he born in 1734 and he born in 1733. She married my great grandfather Frederick Britton Valentine Froehlich Fraley 1725-1792 Virginia . The Fraleys were close to the Daniel Boones and did marry at least once more to that family. Daniel Boone's second child, Israel Boone married my 3rd great grand father 2nd Liet James Madison Gullatt ( Gillette Guillaume de Vreaux Devereaux ), ...his sister, Julia Ann Gullatt-Gillette in 1833 in Tennessee. One of James Madison's children also married a sister of James Bowie ( Buie from Scotland ) the legendary Alamo fighter and colonel of the Texas militia. This appears to be a truth, but I have need to research it. I am also related to James Bowie via the families of Bird, Small, Jones, Moore, Kirkland ( Kirby) and others. James Bowie married but I have no record of his children and by all accounts there are not direct descendents except via his siblings. Tudor: I am a Tudor by birth via Duerksen which is of the Tudor family, but I am also a Tudor via Toews, also via Rollings-McKee-Jameson to Vychan ap Tudor and from Tudor to Rollings which is all great grandparents including names such as Bird, Morgan, Phillips, Spencer, Wheeler, Richards, Daniels, Taylor, Robinson, Williams, Henderson Llewellyn, Sotheron, Watson, Empson and the list goes on. I am an Israel and Jewish descendant from both sides of the family including surnames such as Harms, Isaacs, Rath, Froehlich, Lewis, and Woelke. Rothschild: I am related to Rothschild via Kirby, Wheeler, Watson, Thierry, Froehlich, Fraley, Atkins-Adkins-Atkinson, Dean, Williams, Watkins, English, Evans-Oppenheimer, Armstrong, Spencer, Price, Adams, Moorer, Salisbury, Phillips, Richards, Morgan, Lewis, Daniels, Harms, Isaacs, Dietz Von Worms, la Tour de Auvergne, and others. French Cajun: Thibinault, Terreau, Mathis related, Mate' related, Henderson, Henry, Mattheau, Martin Rollings ( Rollo from the Viking king and Duke of Normandy France and the Rollo-Rollins married well into the French families including to Devereaux ) Pegue Lafitte RollingsRollinsRawlins Gullatt Guillaume Shadowen and others. Indian: there appears to be at least one Indian connection to Fraley via marriage and another by way of Womack, originally mostly Indian blood and became military officers and they married into the Fraleys. These are Cherokee and Shawnee. There is so far at least a Cherokee ancestor in the Gullatt family just before Catherine Manerva Yancy Mitchell Gullatt and her mother was Cherokee...Birdwell. Then there is Indian blood in the Kirby line, so that my great grandmother Maymie Gullatt Kirby Rollins and her siblings did look about 1/4th or more Indian and maybe some from my 3rd great grandfather Liet Pleasant Lockhart Rollings ( Civil War cavalry and infantry ) and his wife Mariah Louisa ( Louise ) McKee Rollings. Hilton: my relations to the Hiltons include from Fraley via Helton an earlier version of Hilton, also from Duerk via Tysson to Hilton, and and then also from Kirby ( Kirkeby ) to Hilton via Tunstall and Ogle, and also from Lloyd, Davenport, Hemingway, Middleton ( from Kirby and Fraley and other ) . Windsor: I am related to Windsor via de Tilton ( Duerk ), Ferguson, Salisbury, Moore, de Ferrier, Winston, Spencer, Lyons, Gullatt, Peque Duerssen, Rawlings, and others. On my father's side there appears to be about a dozen or more marriages to Indians from my great grandparents children, but none of that is a bloodline directly to me, and it may include Navaho ,Pueblo and definitely Apachee. Also the early Duerksens in Oklahoma, 1870s, as Mennonite Missionaries did run a school for the Indians in the area incuding the Cheyenne and Arapaho, and they did teach Chief Sitting Bull. I know they did. I have photos. Ha. Another way of saying my name would be ( perhaps more down to Earth ) Michael Dean Fariss Rollins Gullatt Devereaux Kirby Tudor Cherokee Lewis Llewellyn Rothschild Boone Fraley Franz Duerksen. One other thing: there are roughly 50 knights of Germany and England in my ancestral relationships so far. That means that they had coats of arms were called Sir knight. Many of these knights appear t have been Lords, Counts, Earls and the like and having been granted knighthood as well. One of my great grandmothers is of the house of Aragon in Spain, infact I believe that would be two including Arabella of Aragon and Elizabeth of Aragon, one a Queen and one a Princess. One of my greatgrandparents is Le der Spencer and another is Edward I and all the Edward kings of England. Thimapapaya. This is a Duerksen east India related surname, but not necessarily the same as the line of Emperors in India of the house of Matthias-Theodoric-Duerksen, and Theodoric means " ruler of the people " I hope that you found this commentary interesting. Thankyou for taking the time to read this message. Sincerely, Michael Dean F Duerksen michaelduerksen@netzero.net or cellular 432-386-5781 or moosejuice2011@gmail.com

      March 21, 2014 at 10:43 am | Reply
  9. Robert D. Hawes

    Fareed Zakaria

    Fareed Zakaria is an anti-American. Arab terrorist lover. What is he doing in the US? Is a “Green Card” holder? If so, pull it and deport this despot. All he does is trash us. Get rid of him.

    October 6, 2013 at 7:32 am | Reply

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