Dubai: Nearly two-thirds (62%) of UAE residents prefer to be self-employed or have their own business if given the option, according to a new survey by job portal Bayt.com.
Personal fulfillment and freedom to choose work-life balance emerged as the top reasons for preferring to be self-employed. This is followed by the ability to give back to the community and freedom to choose what to work on.
Those who have already started their business seem to have similar reasoning. When asked about the reasons MENA professionals have for starting their own business, the top three reasons were: ‘wanted to do what I love’, ‘having a great business idea’ and ‘to achieve a better work-life balance.’
“Wealth creation is not the only driver for MENA entrepreneurs, who increasingly tend to be aspirational in other ways,” said Ola Haddad, Director of Human Resources at Bayt.com.
“Our survey aims to understand the views of entrepreneurs as a way to maximize impact and drive growth and innovation in the economy,” she added.
Of those who prefer to seek employment in a company in the UAE, the main reasons for their preference are: learning new skills and stability of employment.
Despite the challenges of setting up a business, the survey indicates that entrepreneurship has become more popular than ever before.
When it comes to those who are currently employed, 70 per cent are currently thinking of starting their own business, 19 per cent of respondents have tried to start their own business in the past, while only 3 per cent never thought of starting their own business.
Many entrepreneurs are looking to grow their startups and establish businesses. Over a third (37%) of MENA respondents have personal ambitions to grow their business further in their country of residence, followed by 27 per cent who aim to become a major international group.
Out of those who are self-employed in the MENA region, 38 per cent are at the startup stage of the business, while another 28 per cent say that their business is established but not performing well. On the other hand, 15 per cent say their business is well established and performing well.
The top concern of UAE respondents while setting up their own business, would be procuring finances to start (70%) and the need to establish the right contacts (46%).
The most appealing industries for entrepreneurship are considered to be IT/ Internet/ E-commerce (12%), Commerce/ Trade/ Retail and Consumer Goods/ FMCG (both at 9%), followed by Real Estate/ Construction/ Property Development (8%).