In the coming decade, the Arab World will need to create 75 million jobs.
There is nothing better than forging your own career path and creating opportunities for many others. These entrepreneurs in the country and the region are likely to play an important role in job creation and are much needed as thousands and thousands of jobs are needed to absorb the growing number of youth who are ready to join the labour market.
According to reports, in the coming decade, the Arab World will need to create a staggering 75 million jobs – an increase of 40 per cent more than currently exist – to keep pace with the young and fast-growing population set to enter the workforce.
The government and private sector alone cannot create so many jobs and experts see a growing reliance on an increasing number of entrepreneurs in the region.
In the recently concluded Abu Dhabi Entrepreneurship Forum 2013, experts stressed that this particular area is the key to creation of 200 million jobs in the Arab World.
Analysts who deliberated on the topic highlighted that the issue of youth unemployment could be alleviated through the development of entrepreneurship, and in-turn the creation of SMEs.
Both are important to the region’s economy and in providing solutions to the wider socio-economic issues including the need to create over 200 million jobs in the next 20 years just to stop the rate of unemployment from increasing.
“We must continue to develop a cohesive ecosystem which generates these business models; from providing the most appropriate education systems, more flexible access to capital, building advocacy and mentorship programmes. Moreover, we need to accelerate our efforts in these regards. The ultimate goal is that we create employers, not just employees. We cannot sit back and rely on the government to fill this void, which is why we must generate private sector-led and government-enabled solutions to our challenges,” said Badr Jafar, Chief Executive Officer of Crescent Enterprises and Managing Director of the Crescent Group, a speaker at the forum.
A survey by job portal Bayt.com that was released this month shows that a growing number of UAE respondents would prefer to be entrepreneurs.
The research has revealed that sentiments in the UAE are relatively torn over whether it is preferable to work for a company or be self-employed. Just less than half of respondents claim that, if given the choice, they would explore the possibilities of entrepreneurship – as opposed to the 48 per cent who would choose to be employees.
For those in the UAE who would prefer to pursue an entrepreneurial career path, the number one reason is personal fulfillment (60 per cent), followed by the freedom to choose their own work-life balance (53 per cent) and the chance to be their own boss (42 per cent).
More than half (53 per cent) of the respondents who are currently employed in the public or private sector in the UAE are currently thinking of starting their own business, while 20 per cent have tried to start one in the past but failed to do so.
The majority (54 per cent) of UAE respondents claim to know between 1-5 entrepreneurs, while a further 52 per cent say that of the entrepreneurs they know, ‘a few’ are successful – 33 per cent say that the majority of entrepreneurs they know have achieved success.