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Mon 18 May 2020 02:16 PM

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70% of UAE residents would prefer to be self-employed, according to Bayt.com survey

Entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa survey found 64% of respondents are currently thinking of starting their own business

70% of UAE residents would prefer to be self-employed, according to Bayt.com survey

Ola Haddad, director of human resources at Bayt.com.

Seven out of ten UAE residents would prefer to be self-employed or have their own business, according to the latest Entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa survey, conducted by Bayt.com and YouGov.

The survey found that, even among those who are employed, 64 percent are currently thinking of starting a business, 23 percent of respondents have tried to start their own business in the past, while only four percent have never given it a thought.

Freedom to choose work-life balance (50 percent), personal fulfillment (44 percent) and ability to give back to the community (43 percent) emerge as the top reasons for preferring to be self-employed. This is followed by ‘being my own boss’ (35 percent) and higher monetary gains (34 percent).

When asked about the reasons MENA professionals have for starting their own business, the top three answers were: more income (36 percent), better work-life balance (35%) and independence in what I want to achieve (31 percent).

“Understanding the views of entrepreneurs in the region is essential to maximising impact and driving growth and innovation in the economy,” said Ola Haddad, director of human resources at Bayt.com.

Over a third (36 percent) of MENA respondents have personal ambitions to grow their business further in their country of residence, followed by 23 percent who aim to become an important international player.

Of those who are self-employed in the MENA region, 36 percent are at the start-up stage of the business, while 26 percent state that their business is established but not performing well. On the other hand, 16 percent say their business is well established and performing well.

The top concern of UAE respondents while setting up their own business would be procuring finances to start (61 percent) and the uncertainty of profit/income (42 percent).

Among the most appealing industries for entrepreneurship in the UAE are consumer goods/ FMCG (nine percent), commerce/trade/retail (seven percent) and IT/internet/e-commerce (seven percent).

Zafar Shah, research director, data services at YouGov, said: “Entrepreneurs are the primary source of new job creation. The ideas and innovations born in small companies and startups disrupt industries and create a stronger economy, offering greater opportunities for upward mobility.”

Arabian Business digital magazine: read the latest edition online