Understanding the Factors of Small Business Failure in the Middle East

Adel M.Said Alawa, William Quisenberry


The Middle East is one of the richest regions in the world. Saudi Arabia has the largest oil reservoirs in the world, Qatar has the largest gas reservoir in the world, and Morocco has the largest reservoirs of phosphate. Tourism is a main source of national income for several countries in the Middle East. There are several historical and tourism locations. Egypt has one of the world’s best wonders: the pyramids. Syria and Jordan are famous for the old Phoenician architecture. Saudi Arabia receives more than 4 million religious tourists every year. Despite these facts, the Middle East has the largest unemployment rate in the world. This fact directs us to research small business performance in the Middle East. Small businesses are the main factor in the economic growth of a nation. Therefore, this review was prepared to investigate the causes of small businesses in the Middle East. The causes of small business failure are plenty and vary from one country to another. In order to initiate the work of small businesses, it is important to find out the reasons for failure in each country. Therefore, the research was implemented in the qualitative phenomenological approach. The results indicated that there are specific skills and knowledge required for the survival of small businesses. Some governments in the Middle East do not provide the required support for entrepreneurial initiation. This review is the starting point of a long journey to study the improvement of small businesses in the Middle East.


Unemployment rate, Small business failure, Small business performance, Small business survival, Qualitative phenomenological approach, Entrepreneurial initiation.

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