By Sam Bridge
Wamda research shows that 35.5% of regional pre-seed start-ups surveyed are based in the UAE
The UAE remains the regional hub for entrepreneurship with 35.5 percent of the pre-seed start-ups surveyed based in the country, according to new research from start-up enabler Wamda.
Wamda's report in collaboration with STEP Conference, the technology festival for emerging markets, showed that the UAE was followed by Egypt with 26.5 percent in sectors ranging from e-commerce, fintech, healthcare and marketplaces.
It was based on data from more than 600 pre-seed start-ups operating in the region.
Ray Dargham, CEO of STEP said: “The findings generated from the report are a testimony of the great achievements the region has been undergoing in graduating business ideas and creative companies.
"It also shows that the UAE has become the home for start-ups to set up their businesses. This falls in line with the UAE’s vision to become the preferred destination for global talents and entrepreneurs, through many initiatives and projects aimed at turning Dubai into a nexus for business and an integrated investment environment.”
According to the survey, the entrepreneur of the Middle East is university-educated, aged 25-35 with substantial experience in the corporate world.
It added that the majority of investment is from founders, who are bootstrapping their start-ups with help from friends and family. There is great room for growth for angel investors who make up just over 5 percent of investment.
The report also said the region still lacks a gender balance, with women accounting for just a quarter of founders.
Triska Hamid, editorial director at Wamda, said: “Encouraging entrepreneurship is vital to the development of the Middle East’s economy, and so better access to such kind of data will enable all the different stakeholders to take action.”