Employees are striving to be entrepreneurs

Author: PM Editorial | Date: 25 Nov 2015

New survey reveals that more than 60 per cent of workers would prefer to start their own business. What’s stopping them?

Employees across the Middle East are desperate to strike out on their own, according to a new survey on entrepreneurship conducted by Bayt.com in association with online market research company YouGov.
 
Staff across a range of countries and industries were polled – and in the UAE alone, 66 per cent of those questioned said they would like to be entrepreneurs, while 16 per cent had tried to start their own business at some point.
 
The 66 per cent figure was the same in Qatar, where 84 per cent of employees strongly agree or somewhat agree that entrepreneurs help in creating new jobs and 71 per cent say they benefit society by creating new products and services.
 
The results come as no surprise to entrepreneur Hazel Jackson, CEO of Dubai-based leadership training firm Biz-group. She appreciates the benefits of being a business owner: “You get to shape your life. But running your own business needs an initial question to be answered: Am I doing this to create a lifestyle business or to create a business beyond me? The former means your work/life balance is protected, you are going to build a business around your own skills and capabilities. The latter needs you to realise this is a journey of hard work and sacrifices. It can take over your life in order to create something that is sustainable and grows beyond you, and it’s extremely hard in the services or consulting sector. Regardless of your answer, you need to love the business you start. It must be a passion and something you genuinely believe will make a difference in people’s lives.”
 
Paula Statham, marketing and communications specialist at Creative Zone, the business set-up company, says: “The greatest obstacle setting up a business in the Middle East is the high incorporation costs. There are many common business set-up issues that tend to be magnified here, such as dealing with bureaucracy, paperwork and red tape, wait time on approvals, and unique language and customs.”
 
“More and more people across the Middle East and North Africa are looking at entrepreneurship options. Despite the challenges, our research indicates that entrepreneurship has become more popular than ever before,” says Elissavet Vraka, research manager at YouGov. “Encouraging more entrepreneurial ventures is beneficial in myriad ways to the economies of the region. Entrepreneurs contribute to a country’s GDP and help create job opportunities.”