One of the most striking statistics often quoted by many is that 65% of the jobs which the current students will be doing in the future does not exist today. While it takes a lot of courage to make such bold claims and predictions about the future, it is also true that the world is changing rapidly and all this is due to advancements in the tech sector.
People who are young know this, and their uncertainty is worsen by figures of unemployment in the North Africa and the Middle East, that are highest in the world, at 29% in North Africa and 27.2% in the Middle East, according to the Arab Development portal.
Fortunately, people of this demographic have a ‘can-do’ mentality. Small and medium sized entities contribute towards 80% of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) economy, with 40% of the young Arabs inclined towards starting their own businesses in the next 5 years, rising to 55% in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Furthermore, with the increasing growth of artificial intelligence, technology is well-positioned to help shine the cultural identities of societies and individuals across the globe.
In the above context, one of the best ways of countering increasing unemployment rates is encouraging more and more people to do business as well as teaching them entrepreneurship skills to create new jobs for the changing world. This way not only will they be able to take control of their future but they would also be able to play an important role in transforming the UAE’s economy.
Laying the Foundation
In order to develop world changing future entrepreneurs, it is important that students are encouraged to have an entrepreneurial mindset and be taught different skills that are necessary for becoming a good entrepreneur from a very young age. Although automation and Artificial intelligence are increasingly important but they cannot replace human skills such as managing challenges, creative mindset and resilience. It is highly important for an entrepreneur to build a good team for collaboration and support. This is another skill which must be honed early.
The UAE government has promoted a lot of STEM initiatives in recent years, as it works towards its vision of developing a highly productive and competitive economy, driven by business entrepreneurs.
Outside of education, a number of recent initiatives are contributing towards the development of future entrepreneurs. Area 2071 is an innovation ecosystem in the emirate of Dubai that attracts the most talented individuals to design the future. Dubai Next is a crowd-funding platform that allows innovators to secure funds for their projects. The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) recently launched the Youth Food Security Stations with the aim to encourage young people to pursue careers in the field of agriculture. These are some of the initiatives that are helping young people in achieving their goals.
Next Steps to Take in the Development of Future Entrepreneurs
With the support of the government, industry, and the education sector, there will be a number of opportunities for young and talented people to turn their ideas into viable and sustainable businesses solutions – and the statistics back this view. As per the fDi Market report, Dubai is first in the North African and Middle Eastern countries and 11th globally for venture capital investments in the year 2020, with UAE-based business startups raising $577m in venture funding – 56% of the total for North African and Middle Eastern countries for 2020.
Further, laws in the UAE support small businesses such as 100 per cent foreign ownership law and 5 year visas for business entrepreneurs. Less well-known assistance for SMEs includes the Hamdan Innovation Incubator signing a MoU with the International Consultant Law Office to provide legal consultancy to business entrepreneurs. All the aforementioned initiatives, small or large, have helped the UAE in reaching the 16th position on the World Bank’s ease of doing business index, as it marches towards the top, playing a highly important role in the Middle Eastern region with regards to helping young people in doing business. In the topic titled ‘starting a business,’ the UAE scored 94.8, ranking 17 out of 190 countries.
The young Emirati business leaders can use this strong platform provided to them by the government and public of the UAE to reach out to the two-fifths of the global population. This diverse and connected generation has the knowledge, passion and commitment to change the world.