UAE: A Thriving Hub for Entrepreneurs

New research from LinkedIn shows entrepreneurship is the highest growing job function year-on-year, with UAE continuing to attract talent from the wider region

The UAE continues to serve as a hub for business innovation with a new study showing that the number of LinkedIn members noting entrepreneurship as their core job function nearly doubled in the past year. Moreover, the UAE is gaining the highest percentage of LinkedIn members identifying entrepreneurship as their job function from other countries within the Middle East.

The findings are part of a new study carried out by LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network on the internet with more than 433 Million members, examining the movement of individuals across job functions and industries. The research is based on an analysis of UAE profiles created and completed between March, 2015 and March, 2016.

The study reveals that the number of LinkedIn members in the UAE who identify entrepreneurship as their job function increased by a remarkable year-on-year (YoY) growth rate of 98.3 percent. This increase was most pronounced in the professional services industry. This refers to a range of different occupations which provide support to businesses of all sizes and in all sectors, including services such as; tax advice, accounting consultancy, or business consultancy. This was followed by the technology (software sector) and then the retail and consumer product sector.

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. The UAE’s ambitions for supporting entrepreneurship perfectly resonate with our LinkedIn mission to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”

In addition, there has been an increase in the percentage of LinkedIn members in the UAE who have moved to work for smaller companies. The number of UAE members in LinkedIn who indicated that they worked for a company employing fewer than 200 employees has grown by a year-on-year growth rate of 10 percent. For example, the number of UAE LinkedIn members who state that they work for a professional services company employing fewer than 200 employees has increased by more than 20 percent compared with this point last year.

H.E. Hussain Al Nowais, Chairman of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development said, “Building an environment in which entrepreneurship can flourish is one of the key priorities within the UAE’s wider innovation agenda. Today this includes expanding access to information and modern digital tools, as well as fostering a culture of invention across the public and private sectors. This latest data from LinkedIn is further testament that the UAE is on the right track, and most importantly, that the public is welcoming such support with open arms.”

An increasing number of UAE residents are becoming entrepreneurs, thanks - in large part - to the internet and new technology platforms. Authorities from both the public and private sector continue to note how digital platforms, especially those on mobile, have helped young people get their ideas off the ground and overcome traditional barriers to entry.