47pc UAE residents prefer self-employment
Dubai, October 8, 2013
About 47 per cent respondents of a regional survey said they would prefer to be entrepreneurs, as opposed to 48 per cent who would choose to be employees.
The Bayt.com Entrepreneurship in the Middle East survey, recently conducted by job site Bayt.com and YouGov, a research and consulting organisation, revealed that sentiments in the UAE are relatively torn over whether it is preferable to work for a company or be self-employed.
The top reasons UAE respondents wanted to work for a company, rather than be self-employed, are the chance to learn new skills and techniques (45 per cent), the regular income offered by a salaried job (43 per cent), and the benefits working for a company offers, such as medical insurance (34 per cent).
For those who would prefer to pursue an entrepreneurial career path, the number one reason was personal fulfilment (60 per cent), followed by the freedom to choose their own work-life balance and the chance to be their own boss.
About 53 per cent of the respondents who are currently employed in the public or private sector in the UAE are thinking of starting their own business, while 20 per cent have tried to start one in the past but failed to do so, said the survey.
About 42 per cent respondents stated that the best time to start a business is mid-career, though 36 per cent claimed that ‘any time’ is the right time, with ‘don’t be afraid of failure’ considered by the majority (39%) to be the best advice to give to an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship is perceived as most successful in Oman, with 12 per cent respondents saying ‘all’ and ‘almost all’ entrepreneurs they know are successful, followed by Morocco and Tunisia (both 11 per cent) and the UAE (10 per cent).
In the UAE, the hospitality and leisure industry is seen to be the most appealing by about 19 per cent of the respondents, followed by finance, insurance and real estate (14 per cent), and jointly with 13 per cent each is advertising, marketing and public relations, and architecture and engineering.
The top three concerns in starting a business were procuring finances to start, uncertainty of profit and income, and the need to establish the right contacts.
About 67 per cent respondents believed that entrepreneurs thought only of their own profit, while 69 per cent believed that they created new products and services that benefit society. A majority of 81 per cent respondents stated that entrepreneurs helped in creating new jobs, and that they were opportunity-driven.
“It would seem there are issues standing in the way of people becoming self-employed,” said Suhail Masri, VP of sales, Bayt.com.
“With finance being the number one problem across the Middle East, it suggests that the region needs more angel investors to step in and help local entrepreneurs; it might also be of benefit for authorities to reconsider their policies, as less stringent regulations could encourage the creation of more start-ups.”
Data for the survey was collected online from September 1 to 15 from more than 8,700 respondents from UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia. - TradeArabia News Service
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