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Most UAE professionals prefer to be self-employed

DUBAI, August 28, 2016

Seventy-three per cent of professionals in the UAE would prefer to be self-employed, due to reasons such as ‘personal fulfilment’ (50 per cent), ‘freedom to choose work-life balance’ (46 per cent), and ‘the ability to be their own boss’ (35 per cent), a report said.

On the other hand, over a quarter of respondents (23 per cent) said that they would prefer to seek employment in a company, as opposed to setting up their own business, according to the survey titled ‘Entrepreneurship in the Mena’ conducted by Bayt.com, a leading job site in the Middle East, in association with with YouGov, a pioneer in online market research.

 Based on the study, over two thirds (68 per cent) of employed UAE professionals are contemplating starting their own business, while 11 per cent have already attempted to do so in the past but either “could not do so” or “failed to do so”.  Another 11 per cent also admitted that they had never thought of starting their own business.

The route to entrepreneurial success in the UAE

When it comes to the best time to start a business, it seems that ‘mid-career’ (45 per cent) and ‘at any time’ (40 per cent) are the most popular times among UAE professionals. Other respondents believe that the right time to set up a business is either ‘after a lengthy career’ (9 per cent) or ‘right after college’ (5 per cent).

Regardless of the best time to start a business, ‘not being afraid of failure’ is by far the best advice to give to aspiring UAE entrepreneurs (44 per cent). Other important tips include: ‘performing an extensive amount of market research’ (15 per cent), ‘having a great business plan’ (10 per cent), ‘having a great marketing plan’ (10 per cent), and ‘having a great business idea (7 per cent).

As for the best industries for entrepreneurship, UAE respondents feel that ‘Hospitality and Leisure’ (19 per cent), ‘Advertising/Marketing/Public relations’ (13 per cent), and ‘Architecture and Engineering’ (13 per cent) are the most favourable options for aspiring entrepreneurs. This is followed by ‘Communications/Information Technology’ (12 per cent), and ‘Finance/Insurance/Real Estate’ (11 per cent).

To ensure business continuity and success, respondents cite three key factors, including ‘being close to clients or customers’ (37 per cent), ‘employing the right people’ (23 per cent), and ‘innovation’ (18 per cent).

Challenges faced by entrepreneurs in the UAE

Professionals in the UAE who have tried to start a business in the past but couldn’t or failed to do so faced certain challenges which prevented them from success. Finances are a common theme amongst respondents when it comes to listing their business concerns.

Over half of UAE respondents (54 per cent) claim that the ‘uncertainty of profit/income’ is a top concern, followed by ‘procuring the finances to start’ (48 per cent), ‘the need to establish the right contacts’ (33 per cent), ‘hiring the wrong people’ (32 per cent), and the ‘need to put in a lot of time, energy and effort’ (30 per cent).

Almost half of the employed respondents (47 per cent) claim that it is difficult to start a business in the UAE. In addition, almost two thirds (63 per cent) agree that easing the law and regulations for setting up a business would immensely improve the UAE’s entrepreneurial landscape. This is followed by ‘facilitating access to skilled labour’ (12 per cent), ‘reducing taxation’ (11 per cent), and ‘regulating competition among businesses’ (11 per cent).

“Entrepreneurship has been a proven driver of both economic activity and innovation in the UAE, which is why the government should take note of the fact that laws and regulations with regards to starting a business are amongst the top concerns for locally-based entrepreneurs,” said Suhail Masri, VP of Employer Solutions, Bayt.com.

“We believe collaboration is a top priority for the public and private sector, as well as professionals looking for a job. In an effort to provide a channel for cooperation and exchange, Bayt.com offers Bayt.com Specialities, a platform where established business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs in the UAE can share knowledge and interact before making the decision to work together. The website also provides special hiring packages to new business owners looking to hire top talents.

“Our database of more than 25.7 million job seekers enables us to offer new start-ups access to the best and most varied pool of candidates in the Middle East to help them meet their hiring needs and grow their business,” he added.

Arleen Gonsalves, associate research manager said: “Despite many challenges, entrepreneurship is fast emerging as a transformational megatrend in the UAE providing both a personal sense of fulfilment and the ability to be your own boss. It also plays a vital role in the economic development as a key contributor to innovation and new job opportunities. There is a long way to go to reach a mature entrepreneurial landscape in the UAE, but the opportunities are sufficiently large and with better support from the government it will further accelerate the trend.” – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: UAE | Jobs | Bayt.com | Employment | entrepreneurs |

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