UAE professionals are going it alone
LinkedIn study shows UAE entrepreneurs on rise
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.