The UAE has been in the forefront of encouraging private enterprise in the region for the past several decades.
Economic challenges posed by prolonged low oil prices and COVID crisis has not deterred the country’s resolve to encourage and foster entrepreneurship in the country.
To attract talent and capital, the country has been constantly devising innovative strategies for its start-up ecosystem. The recent launch of a series of game-changing initiatives such as the ‘Skill-up Academy’ and a ‘Scale-up Platform’ is seeking to harness the power of young entrepreneurial talent to fuel the economic growth of the nation.
The new initiatives seek to equip the youth of the country with leadership and information on policies and opportunities. In addition, new accelerators for family businesses looking to enter new markets, an institute for economic research and a global investment conference, which will focus on the opportunities of the new economy in the UAE, will complement a series of measures already under way to build the entrepreneurial talent pool.
Start-ups along with the vibrant small and medium enterprises (SME) that contributes more than 53 per cent of the nation’s non-oil GDP have been the backbone of UAE’s economy. The leadership of the country has recognised the importance of this segment for long and has been constantly striving to strengthen the spirit of enterprise in the country through innovation and reforms.
Start-ups have huge value to an economy as they are built on ideas that take advantage of market imperfections through innovation. While they disrupt the conventional thinking and solutions, they have the power to generate value in several multiples at lower costs.
Increasingly, incumbent companies are facing stiff competition from start-ups, where the latter are chipping away at the market share and enlarging their share of the profits pie.
What sets start-ups apart is their ability to innovate rapidly by keeping all stakeholders at the heart of every decision. The UAE’s move to place start-up driven entrepreneurial culture at the center of its economic growth strategy for the next 50 years is sure to yield rapid growth and deliver innovation at greater speed.
The country has been pursuing a strategy to improve and develop performance in all competitiveness indicators. The approach is rooted in open economic policies, modernisiation and updating of legislations and streamlining of procedures as well as the adoption of innovation to move up on the scale of global competitiveness.
To put it simply, the government itself is pursuing the strategy of disruptors in making quick decisions. Disruptors have fewer processes and constraints both strategically and in terms of execution, allowing them to be more nimble, responsive and innovative. This is where the UAE’s strategies stand out on the global stage.