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Entrepreneurship Across the Middle East with Elizabeth MacBride



Welcome to Episode 40 of Products of the Mind. On this episode, I speak with journalist and world traveler Elizabeth MacBride.

“I remember landing in Amman, Jordan and just being amazed at how beautiful it was and how friendly the people were, and that is something that holds true across the Middle East; it’s beautiful and the people are nice.“

Today’s discussion is with journalist and writer Elizabeth MacBride.

Elizabeth talks about the progression of her journalism career; beginning with how covering the Amish in Lancaster, Pennsylvania led her to a life-changing trip to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 1997.

Elizabeth also shares some of her more visceral journalism experiences such as reporting on persecuted Marsh Arabs and visiting hospitals in Bagdad where cancer medicine was banned by Saddam Hussein as a response to political and economic sanctions.

After being exposed to the beauty of the Middle East, Elizabeth began focusing more on marginalized and minority groups and how these groups are a rising entrepreneurial force. Elizabeth writes extensively on Middle Eastern economics and entrepreneurship, and we’ll discuss a few of her findings in this interview including a report on women refugee entrepreneurs in post-Arab Spring cultures.

We’ll also hear about the role of dignity in entrepreneurship, the Iranian economy, overcoming market challenges for entrepreneurs, and how political and economic challenges (such as sanctions) shape entrepreneurship and vice-versa.

This and more today with Elizabeth MacBride.

Links and notable mentions from today’s episode:

Elizabeth also wanted to mention Chris Schroeder’s book, Startup Rising, which is a great introduction to entrepreneurship in the Middle East. Proceeds from the book go to a civil society organization called Ruwwad.

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The Credits

Products of the Mind is produced by Mana Monzavi.

The illustration accompanying these show notes is by Whit Harris.

The theme music for this episode was provided by Le Chateau. The track name is “Bury You.” Go buy it on Soundcloud!

This episode and these show notes © 2016 David Lizerbram

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