Challenges and solutions concerning entrepreneurial strategies discussed at length by public and private sectors during dialogue hosted by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and MEED, organisers of Innovation Live!
The need for introducing a platform as a ‘one-stop shop’ for starting business in the UAE identified as key to progress.
The inaugural Innovation Live!, an official anchor event for UAE Innovation Week, held a joint session with Tejar Dubai, a Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry initiative to discuss the future of entrepreneurship in the UAE. Aligned with the UAE Vision 2021 aiming to upscale Small and Medium Enterprises’ contribution of 70% of non-oil GDP, the session was held to formulate an action plan boosting entrepreneurship within the UAE.
The initiative’s overarching goal is to encourage public and private sector collaboration to foster a culture of innovation within the next generation of entrepreneurs. The session also debated how to remove barriers hindering success for start-ups in the UAE. As a result, the organisers of the pivotal event, MEED in collaboration with Dubai Chamber facilitated dialogue between prominent entrepreneurs of the UAE and government entities ranging from the energy to education sectors. The participants identified key challenges and opportunities entrepreneurs face during their new start-up ventures.
The focus group reached a consensus in identifying the main challenges entrepreneurs are faced within the UAE and the need for measures to be taken by the government to help them flourish. Factors contributing to the challenges were raised and included high start-up costs, limited access to data, lengthy administration processes and the gap of providing certified training to individuals wishing to become entrepreneurs.
Key findings from the session:
The need for introducing a platform ‘as a onestop shop’ for starting business in the UAE was central to the discussions. The aim of such an enterprise would be to provide greater access and transparency to market data and act as the central body to facilitate all the requirements entrepreneurs need within the UAE.
Essa Al Zaabi, Senior Vice-President, Institutional Support Sector, Dubai Chamber, stated that the Innovation Live summit is designed to bring together the public and private sectors to work together to find sustainable solutions to diversified economic sectors leading up to the post-oil scenario.
“The summit with its extensive keynote addresses, panel sessions, debates and hard talks, is an ideal platform to support and inject innovation into business as entrepreneurs, especially SMEs who are central to the growth strategy of Dubai, can participate in brainstorming sessions designed to identify and solve specific sector based challenges that create barriers to innovation across the government and private sectors,” said Al Zaabi.
Richard Thompson, Editorial Director, MEED commented saying: “As the region diversifies beyond oil driven revenues for economic growth, the private sector is becoming even more central to driving growth and creating jobs. Start-ups and entrepreneurs will be at the heart of the long term future of a sustainable economy for the UAE. Now more than ever is the crucial time to foster the ultimate environment for entrepreneurs to flourish.”
“We are honoured to be working alongside the Dubai Chamber in support of entrepreneurs by evaluating the ideal environment for their business ventures to flourish through addressing the current challenges and opportunities in the UAE,” he added.
This Watercooler challenge is another step to identify the focus areas, which will contribute to help make the UAE one of the ‘happiest’ countries in the world.”
For start-ups incubating in the region, it is imperative for them to align with rapidly evolving innovations to ensure competitive advantage. In order to support the growth of small and medium sized businesses, a law on SMEs passed last year which entitled these companies to 10 per cent of Government awards.
Innovation Live! is an initiative by MEED in collaboration with key government and private organisations to enable innovation by aligning government and businesses. A series of workshops are being hosted across the UAE in the build up to the event to provide a platform for industry leaders to discuss challenges and solutions for fostering innovation. Innovation Live! falls in line with the UAE’s ambitions of being the ‘smartest’, ‘happiest’ most ‘efficient’ and most ‘connected’ cities in the world.
The event is taking place on the 21st of November at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Tickets are available at: www.innovation.live
Innovation Live! in association with Dubai Chamber has also announced its full list of partners which includes: Dubai Chamber (Headline Partner), Healthcare Authority Abu Dhabi (Healthcare Innovation Partner). Masdar (Strategic Partner), Federal Transport Authority (Strategic Partner), Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (Strategic Partner), Emirates Foundation (Strategic Partner), Hitachi (Social Innovation Partner), Bentley (Platinum Partner), Honeywell (Platinum Partner), Hyperloop Transport Technologies (Platinum Partner), GE (Platinum Partner), Valiant Clinic (Platinum Partner), PepsiCo (Platinum Partner), Atkins (Gold Partner), DuBox (Gold Partner), Lafarge Holcim (Gold Partner), SAP (Gold Partner), Visa (Gold Partner), Esri (Silver Partner), Autodesk (Silver Partner), Pfizer (Silver Partner), Barco (Experience partner), B.U.T (Experience partner) and Howdy (Experience partner).