UAE among top 20 countries for entrepreneurs, says Ashish Thakkar

The inaugural Ashish J Thakkar Global Entrepreneurship Index examines the state of entrepreneurship around the world.
UAE among top 20 countries for entrepreneurs, says Ashish Thakkar
By Tamara Pupic
Tue 06 Dec 2016 10:18 AM

The UAE ranks among the world’s top 20 nations offering the best environment for entrepreneurs, according to a report by Mara Foundation and Opinium Research.

The inaugural Ashish J Thakkar Global Entrepreneurship Index measures entrepreneurial environments around the world and assesses 85 countries against a set of criteria that spans policy, infrastructure, education, entrepreneurial environment and finance.

The UAE currently ranks 16th overall, ahead of other prominent commercial and financial markets, such as Germany and Japan, and many of its close neighbours including Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The UAE scores highly on the ‘policy’ and ‘infrastructure’ pillars due to its ability to provide a supportive foundation and culture for entrepreneurs to flourish in. In particular, the UAE performed strongly in the Infrastructure segment overall (ranked number 7 globally), and across the majority of indices too. It was able to have both a strong physical infrastructure as well as score highly on digital infrastructure.

The UAE also scored highly in the ‘Entrepreneurial Environment’ pillar which looks at perception-based results examining the status of entrepreneurship in a country as well as attitudes to entrepreneurship. The UAE, along with Jordan and Qatar performed very well in this category.

However, the Index shows that more work needs to be done on the ‘Education’ and ‘Finance’ pillars in particular.

Top 25 countries by Overall Index Score:

1. Singapore

2. New Zealand

3. Denmark

4. Canada

5. United Kingdom

6. Norway

7. Ireland

8. Finland

9. Switzerland

10. Sweden

11. Netherlands

12. Iceland

13. United States

14. Hong Kong

15. Australia

16. United Arab Emirates

17. Germany

18. Qatar

19. Japan

20. Israel

21. Malaysia

22. Estonia

23. Belgium

24. South Korea

25. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The Ashish J Thakkar Global Entrepreneurship Index 2016 is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur, Ashish J Thakkar, who started his first business at the age of 15.

Speaking about the newly-published report, Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, said: “The Mara Foundation has done some great work supporting entrepreneurs all over the world. I’m delighted to see their new entrepreneurship index that will help identify opportunities for business, not-for-profits and Government to work together to create the right environment for entrepreneurs to thrive and to create jobs.”

The Index is a Mara Foundation initiative that has been developed with support from independent research consultancy, Opinium, to create a wide-ranging and thorough analysis of the state of entrepreneurship globally.

Mara Foundation, part of Mara Group, a pan-African multi-sector business with extensive operating experience in both African and international markets, focuses on fostering entrepreneurialism in Africa through a myriad of programmes designed to address the complete life-cycle of an entrepreneur’s business idea.

“Through the work of Mara Group over the past 20 years, I have come to recognise the immense contribution that entrepreneurs make to economies and societies around the world – particularly in relation to job creation,” said Ashish J Thakkar, founder of Mara Group and Mara Foundation.

“In recent years, however, it has become more and more apparent that governments and the private sector are simply not doing enough to support entrepreneurs in their endeavours. With the creation of this Index, we hope to provide some solid policy recommendations that will help guide discussions and improve entrepreneurial environments globally.”

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