International Council for Small Business (ICSB)
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Event or Conference:
62nd International Council for Small Business (ICSB) Conference
The paper, “Bolstering Economic Ecosystems: Help for Developing Countries or Neo-Colonialism” emphasized the somewhat hidden agenda of foreign governments in the building of EE in MENA region. Dr. Daily and Dr. Sussan asked important question of the political agenda of foreign governments in such endeavor. In other words, are foreign governments attempting to build or control these economies in MENA region? In the 1980s, the goal of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) changed from an emphasis on food, nutrition, health and education to stabilizing currencies and financial systems and developing free market systems – which could be construed as favoring neoliberal economic theory. A major EE player in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region is accelerator Endeavor which has ties to USAID. While some developmental economists like William Easterly and Dambisa Moyo (author of “Dead Aid”) might agree with focusing on EE, other developmentalists like Jeffrey Sachs would rather focus on traditional aid programs. Immanuel Wallerstein might be reluctant to endorse any kind of aid emanating from the “core” to the “periphery”. Endeavor Morocco is one example of an accelerator partially funded by USAID which seeks to bolster various startups in Morocco such as Maptia and The Blue House. The Center is embarking on a program to explore these issues further, especially in the MENA region.