Magazine article Newsweek International

Don't Sniff at Money

Magazine article Newsweek International

Don't Sniff at Money

Article excerpt

Byline: Stefan Theil

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Correction: In our interview with Jordan's Queen Rania ("Don't Sniff at Money," Aug. 20-27), we mistakenly referred to Her Majesty as "Princess." NEWSWEEK REGRETS the error.

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Princess Rania pushes Arabs to train entrepreneurs.

Jordan's Queen Rania Al Abdullah emphasizes the need to teach Arab kids how to start their own businesses and create jobs. She's crisscrossed the region to drum up support for Injaz al-Arab, a fast-growing NGO that has helped 270,000 students learn business skills and set up their own mini-companies. Her Majesty answered Stefan Theil's written questions from the royal family's undisclosed vacation retreat. Excerpts:

Theil: In many Arab countries, there are countless obstacles to starting a business--from punitive bankruptcy laws to lack of financing to the time and money it takes to set up a company. Why focus on education?

Rania: Because it's not just about creating an environment in which entrepreneurs can succeed, it's also about creating the entrepreneurs themselves. It's about nurturing creativity, innovation and critical thinking in our classrooms. Our schools need to graduate more students who can recognize opportunity and pursue it, generate new ideas, take risks and bounce back from knocks along the way.

You've emphasized that this is as much about mentality as about skills.

Across the Arab world, we see countries moving toward private-sector growth, but traditionally the reliance has been on the public sector [for jobs]. …

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