UAE pro­fes­sion­als are go­ing it alone

LinkedIn study shows UAE en­trepreneurs on rise

7 Days in Dubai - - BUSINESS -

The num­ber of UAE-based pro­fes­sion­als who are leav­ing big com­pa­nies to work for a smaller firm or get into busi­ness for them­selves is on the rise.

That’s ac­cord­ing to a re­port that was re­leased by the web­site LinkedIn, which said there had been a 98.3 per cent in­crease in the num­ber of ex­ist­ing site mem­bers who changed their sta­tus to ‘ en­tre­pre­neur’ in the UAE in the last 12 months.

The num­ber of UAE-based LinkedIn mem­bers who have moved to a com­pany that em­ploys less than 200 peo­ple has also risen, up 20 per cent from this time last year.

The fig­ures come as no sur­prise to Fathi Ben Grira, CEO of fi­nan­cial ser­vices com­pany Me­na­corp.

“Smaller com­pa­nies of­fer more ex­po­sure and you are given more re­spon­si­bil­i­ties faster than you would in a big­ger com­pany,” he said.

“So it’s quite pos­si­ble peo­ple might be frus­trated in larger com­pa­nies.

“It’s the struc­ture of smaller com­pa­nies that they tend to rely on smaller, more dy­namic groups.” Grira urged cau­tion though for any­one think­ing of tak­ing the plunge and start­ing their own busi­ness.

“SMEs and en­trepreneurs tend to be more re­liant on money com­ing from banks,” he said.

“Banks are tight­en­ing up on what they are of­fer­ing peo­ple.”

Nada Enan, Se­nior Man­ager Mar­ket­ing and PR, for LinkedIn MENA, told 7DAYS there has been a no­tice­able in­crease in the num­ber of start-up busi­nesses that is in line with the UAE gov­ern­ment’s pol­icy.

“It’s so easy to come here and re­alise your big dream,” she said. “We’ve looked at peo­ple liv­ing in the UAE who have changed their core job func­tion. You don’t see it any­where else, the mi­gra­tion of tal­ent from around the world shows that the UAE is a ma­jor hub.”

Louise Karim, who is en­joy­ing suc­cess as the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Mums@Work, a group that helps moth­ers find their way back into the work­place with a flex­i­ble sched­ule, says it’s clear what the fac­tors be­hind the trend are.

“One ma­jor fac­tor is the job mar­ket tight­en­ing, which in turn is push­ing res­i­dents to ex­plore set­ting up their own busi­nesses,” she said. “The boom­ing use of so­cial me­dia in the re­gion also al­lows en­trepreneurs to quickly and cost-ef­fec­tively launch a busi­ness.

“How­ever, the costs of per­mits and le­gal­ity in the re­gion still needs to be re­viewed as it can pro­vide a num­ber of fi­nan­cial bar­ri­ers to set­ting up a busi­ness.”

Com­ment­ing on the re­sults, Ali Matar, Head of LinkedIn Tal­ent So­lu­tions for South­ern Europe, Mid­dle East and North Africa, said: “The UAE has evolved to be a pre­ferred desti­na­tion for tal­ent, en­trepreneurs and in­no­va­tors from across the world.

It boasts of a fully-in­te­grated en­vi­ron­ment that nur­tures ideas gen­er­ated by youth and aims to boost en­trepreneur­ship through com­pre­hen­sive sup­port sys­tems.

“The study clearly con­firms the coun­try’s sta­tus as a strong econ­omy and an ap­peal­ing work­ing en­vi­ron­ment that is highly ca­pa­ble of com­pet­ing on a global scale.”

He said the con­di­tions for en­trepreneur­ship in the UAE make it the per­fect place for small busi­nesses and SMEs.

“The UAE’s am­bi­tions con­nect the world’s pro­fes­sion­als to make them more pro­duc­tive and suc­cess­ful,” he said.

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