ILO and INSEAD Evidence Symposium: Promoting Entrepreneurship for Inclusive Growth and Decent Jobs

The symposium brings together policy makers, academics and business leaders to the INSEAD Middle East Campus in Abu Dhabi to share and discuss the latest cutting edge evidence on entrepreneurship and decent jobs in the MENA region on November 14-15th, 2016.


Underemployment, rural employment and women’s empowerment are serious policy issues in labour markets around the globe. For youth, it is a particular burden: youth are almost three times as likely to be unemployed as the general adult population. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the youth unemployment rate surpassed 30 per cent in 2014.2 The gender gap, a global measure of gender based disparities, is the highest in the world. Women are on average 2.4 times more likely to be unemployed than their male counterparts. For young women, this figure translates into an unemployment rate of 21.7 and 21.2 percentage points in North Africa and the Middle East, respectively.

Many countries in the region are also characterised by low levels of enterprise creation, cumbersome business environments, large informal sectors, market dominance by a small group of well-connected and favoured firms, and a relatively generalised preference for employment in the public sector to the detriment of private enterprise. This has resulted in an under-performing private sector, to the disadvantage particularly of young women and rural populations.

The ILO’s Taqeem Initiative and INSEAD, with its Randomized Controlled Trials Lab and Center for Economic Growth, have come together to provide a platform for world class scholars, policy makers and business leaders to share and discuss the latest emerging and cutting edge findings from impact evaluations on entrepreneurship for inclusive growth and decent jobs in MENA.


  • TO SUPPORT senior policy makers and business leaders to design and implement effective policies and interventions grounded in evidence towards the promotion of entrepreneurship for inclusive growth and decent jobs, and to collectively define a research agenda.
  • TO PROMOTE academic research about entrepreneurship for inclusive growth and decent jobs.
  • TO CONTRIBUTE to the development of researchers in the MENA region.


This two-day event will take place at the INSEAD Middle East Campus in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
  • Academic research workshop on Monday, 14 November 2016: The academic research workshop targets scholars interested in entrepreneurship research using randomized field experiments to generate evidence on what “works” to create effective policies and programmes on entrepreneurship.
  • Stakeholder symposium on Tuesday, 15 November 2016: The symposium targets senior stakeholders from government, private sector, supporting institutions and academia interested in promoting entrepreneurship for inclusive growth and decent job creation based on rigorous evidence.


To apply for participation at the stakeholder symposium or the academic research workshop, please visit: Please note that registration does not guarantee participation. Only registered and approved applicants will be formally invited to attend. Places being limited, the organizers will give priority to applicants coming from the target audience of the Evidence Symposium.

About the organizers

ILO Taqeem Initiative: What Works in Youth Employment is implemented in partnership with IFAD in the framework of an IFAD-financed project, titled “Strengthening gender monitoring and evaluation in rural employment in the Near East and North Africa.” Through rigorous impact research, this capacity development and learning grant project aims to understand “what works” in the promotion of gender mainstreaming, with the ultimate goal of reaching gender equality in rural employment outcomes across the region.

INSEAD is one of the world's leading and largest graduate business schools, INSEAD offers participants a truly global educational experience. With campuses in Europe (France), Asia (Singapore) and Middle East (Abu Dhabi), and alliances with top institutions, INSEAD's business education and research spans around the globe. Our 148 renowned faculty members from 40 countries inspire more than 1,300 students in our degree and PhD programmes. In addition, more than 9,500 executives participate in INSEAD's executive education programmes each year.