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UAE's small businesses growing

Report says the region is the only place to have such expansion

Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE is the only country that has shown increases in all entreprenurial activities last year, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (Gem).

Zayed University Wednesday introduced the Gem report on entrepreneurship in the UAE, which was prepared in collaboration with the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development and Mohammad Bin Rashid Establishment for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME).

The report says that in the UAE, the total entrepreneurial activity rate (TEA), which measures the percentage of the population either actively trying to start a business or already owning and managing a business less than three and a half years old, has sharply increased from 8.44 per cent in 2007 to 13.25 per cent in 2009.

Moreover, the report shows that the UAE has the highest participation rates for young businesses and TEA firms and the second highest rate for business start-ups compared to other countries at a similar stage of economic development.

The Gem was created in 1998 to collect relevant harmonised data on an annual basis from various countries and to bring together academics from all over the world to work on a common research programme.

Dr Ahmad Khalil Al Mutawa, CEO of the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, said: "The Khalifa Fund aims to support a culture of leadership and initiative, encouraging innovation and empowerment of local SMEs to contribute to the social and economic development of the Emirates.

"The Khalifa Fund has launched several initiatives designed to instill leadership values within different sectors of society."