Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 15 November 2019

Almost 70% of UAE professionals want to quit work to be their own boss

Employees want to manage their own work-life balance or attain personal fulfilment, says a new study

Just over a third of existing entrepreneurs said their motivation to give up a regular job was to increase income. Getty Image
Just over a third of existing entrepreneurs said their motivation to give up a regular job was to increase income. Getty Image

Seven in 10 UAE professionals aspire to quit work in favour of self-employment or running their own business, a new survey from Middle East jobs site Bayt.com and global research firm YouGov found.

Sixty-nine per cent of respondents to Bayt.com’s Entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa 2019 study said they want to be their own boss, with just over half listing the reason for the preference as having freedom over their work-life balance while 42 per cent said it was to find personal fulfilment.

Meanwhile, just over a third of existing entrepreneurs said their motivation to leave a regular job was to increase their income, while 27 per cent said they wanted to something they loved and a quarter said they had a great business idea.

Omar Tahboub, general manager of Bayt.com, said the jobs portal carried out the study because “understanding the views of entrepreneurs in Mena is essential to maximise impact and drive growth and innovation in the economy”.

Small and medium-sized enterprises make up around 98 per cent of businesses in the UAE, according to AIM Start-up, a UAE Ministry of Economy initiative, and increasing the contribution of SMEs to the national economy is a key objective of the UAE’s broader growth strategy. Under the UAE’s Vision 2021 economic roadmap, the federal government aims to increase SMEs’ contribution to gross domestic product to 60 per cent by 2021, from around 53 per cent today.

According to the Bayt.com report, which surveyed about 3,330 people in May, entrepreneurship is increasing in popularity with over a third of respondents planning to grow their business further, while 23 per cent aim to become significant international players.

The top concerns for setting up a business are securing the finance to start up for 62 per cent of respondents, while being uncertain about profits or income was a worry for 45 per cent.

This month, the head of Abu Dhabi’s new start-up incubator, Hub71, called on UAE banks to streamline the process of setting up accounts for new companies to make it easier for fledgling ventures to launch operations.

“Here in Abu Dhabi I can set up a business very quickly, but getting access to basic financial services – such as setting up a bank account – is still an area we need to work on,” Mahmoud Adi, chief executive of Hub71, told The National.

Updated: July 7, 2019 03:47 PM

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