United Arab Emirates – A leading nation in Innovation and Entrepreneurial Support

By: Dr. Beenish Shameem, Lecturer, Marketing and Management Studies, Skyline University College, Sharjah

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Innovation is being considered as key to promoting economic growth in the United Arab Emirates. The Government of United Arab Emirates is committed to enabling and strengthening the innovation and entrepreneurial culture in the country. Innovation culture not only helps in regional economic development, but also this phenomenon will support the UAE at the international forefront.

The global ranking of UAE is the proof of their successful efforts towards the commitment of government and UAE institutions for innovation and entrepreneurial culture.

Dubai ranked amongst the top 5 cities in the world in terms of the most favoured cities by entrepreneurs. The UAE government has launched a number of entrepreneurial support initiatives in different emirates to support budding entrepreneurs, SMEs, artisans, women, and inmates. Some of these Initiatives are Dubai SME, Khalifa Fund, Ruwad establishments, Businesswomen councils, and Fujairah Welfare association.

HE Sheikh Mohammed in 2014 launched UAE National Innovation Strategy with the objective of making the United Arab Emirates one of the most innovative nations in the world within seven years. The strategy is focused on creating a stimulating environment for innovation in the form of supporting institutions, institutionalising innovative practices with the integration of modern technology, dedicating investment to new ideas, encouraging the private sector to focus on innovation and scientific research.

The strategy also includes preparing individuals with innovative capabilities in the disciplines of STEM. The aim of this strategy is to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is of key importance in economic growth and development. Economies cannot witness growth and sustainability without entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs must keep themselves abreast of innovative solutions and creative trends to add to the lives of their target markets. Entrepreneurs have to capture all the potential opportunities to innovate constantly. UAE entrepreneurs have been doing this and are creating excitement for consumers by providing whole new ideas. If companies don’t follow the idea of innovating, it can create redundancy and redundancy may be a nightmare for businesses. The UAE has been tremendously supportive of entrepreneurial culture. Not only that, but these companies are, at institutional levels, also stimulating their teams to innovate to achieve sustainability and a competitive edge at international levels. A culture and support system to embrace creativity and entrepreneurship is actively being incentivised at every level of society. Strategies are being formulated and implemented. Financial systems in the form of microfinance institutions have been solely created to cater to the needs of aspiring entrepreneurs. A comprehensive support system has been articulated for entrepreneurs ranging from initialisation of projects to the digital marketing of ideas, to training the entrepreneurs so that entrepreneurs can sharpen their creative skills. Entrepreneurship and innovation is a huge phenomenon in the UAE, which undoubtedly is a way to go and achieve sustainability for future generations and the best part of this entire phenomena is that there is marvelous support from governments and apex bodies.

Colleges and universities are efficiently contributing to the idea of innovation, in which Skyline University College has just recently introduced new programmes, namely: BBA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, BBA in Human Resource Management and Psychology, MBA with Emphasis on Sustainable Development, and MBA with Emphasis on Project Management, under its School of Business, that are fully approved and accredited by the Ministry of Education, UAE.