Despite its strong economic growth last decade, Jordan’s economy has struggled to achieve significant growth in recent years due to a number of external and internal factors. However, Jordan’s business base is what is believed to ultimately lead any recovery in the economy. Jordan is a middle-income country with a strong potential of growth, and a small but relatively young population of around 9.5 million (Youth account for around 21.5% of the population, while youth unemployment is around 31%).
Jordan enjoys a lively MSME ecosystem in which small, medium and micro enterprises employ around 70% of the workforce, which can act as the greatest potential for sustainable growth. Currently 2-4% MSME’s realize their growth potentials, whereas if this percentage could raise to 5%, the impact will be around JOD 150 mil of additional annual GDP (13% of Jordan’s growth rate)
Moreover, the five-year long Syrian Civil War has left millions of Syrians with no choice but to leave their homes, precipitating refugee crisis of epic proportions that has knock-on effects beyond the region. There are now about 4.8 million Syrian refugees in neighbouring Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, of which 655,895 people (round 13%) of those refugees flee to Jordan. SPARK’s response has been to work on projects aiming to enable thousands of young Syrian men and women to develop and use the skills they will need to one day rebuild their country, via higher education and entrepreneurship training.
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