Founder hopes to encourage and help young Arab start ups
Dubai – The GCC’s first one-stop, online information resource aggregating everything aspiring business owners and young entrepreneurs need to know to set up and fund their start-ups in any of the six Gulf states went live recently.
The web site www.arab-entrepreneurs.org is part of the One Step Ahead initiative launched by Omani entrepreneur Qais Al Khonji, who is committed to educating and encouraging young Arabs to venture into the world of entrepreneurship to help governments combat increasing unemployment.
Founder Al Khonji said: “The UAE is experiencing a population boom amongst its youth with recent figures estimating that 38% of its nationals are less than 15 years of age. The equivalent number in Saudi Arabia is estimated at well above 50%. All these youngsters are already actively looking for jobs and their overreliance on governmental positions is a wrong that needs to be put right.”
“In the face of growing Arab youth unemployment enterprising individuals could play a vital role in helping GCC governments address the challenges of long-term productivity and viable job creation strategies for economically sustainable societies.”
The online resource aggregates useful information about the red tape and processes required to launch a start up in each of the six GCC countries. It also features lists of local useful web sites of government departments and ministries which are part of this process and promotes various funds and other initiatives that focus on assisting budding entrepreneurs.
From the paperwork, processes and investment required to license your business to the various Free Zones and bodies involved and from the legislative framework in each market to the existing funds and incentives provided by the various governments, this web site is a one-stop-shop for already available information.
The web site also features a dynamic forum which encourages registered members participate in discussions around entrepreneurship in the GCC, challenges and opportunities lying ahead while offering networking possibilities for individuals interacting through it. In this interactive section users can upload their profile, share contact details and publish their own experiences by posting comments or pitch their business idea.
“Time is money and an investment one needs to make during the journey to commercial success and One Step Ahead is an initiative deigned to save time for those who are busy thinking and planning their first entrepreneurial steps,” added Al Khonji.
The UAE is at the world’s 20th position in terms of the country’s attitude, abilities and aspirations towards entrepreneurship, according to the 2015 edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Index which annually measures the health of the entrepreneurship ecosystems in 130 countries. The study shows that the UAE jumped nine places versus its 2014 standing cementing its regional lead in the rankings which feature Qatar in 24th, Saudi Arabia in 31st place, Kuwait in 37th, Oman in 39th and Bahrain in 43rd.