Business Growth And Start-Up Trends In The Middle East: What Should Young People Be Aware Of?

The Middle East is a growing market with huge potentials that no one is unaware of, but political tension in the region has not always favored business growth in the past. Nevertheless, the situation has started to change as more and more business leaders are helping young people find employment in areas other than the oil business.

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Female Drivers were Finally Seen in Saudi Arabia

Back in June 2018, when King Salman finalized orders that allowed women to drive in Saudi Arabia, it opened the door for new and old businesses to pop up with services catering exclusively to female drivers. For example, female Uber drivers in Saudi Arabia is now a reality, which shines positively on the region’s growing business opportunities and acceptance towards new ideas.

Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi Expressed Enthusiasm about Entrepreneurship

Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and MENA Regional Business Council are both headed by Chairperson Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, who expressed his enthusiasm and hope that the Middle East is a perfect place for budding entrepreneurs at Davos 2018.

As a matter of fact, the Chairperson’s elaborate explanations and guidance on the matter makes a lot of sense, as well as inspiring confidence in Middle East’s upcoming digital revolution in e-commerce.

The Established Businesses are Seeking New Partners

When established businesses in an area start seeking and promoting the development of new companies, so that they can partner with them to grow together, it is a definite sign that the market is ideal for start-ups.

This is exactly what is happening in the Middle East right now since older and more established business institutions in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Tunisia, and various other countries are looking to inspire entrepreneurship for future partnerships.

Let’s take the example of Zain, which is a recognized telecommunications provider, operating in Lebanon. They sponsored six start-ups just last year by not only providing them with funds and offices but they also mentored each and every one of the businesses separately, alongside giving them sales support.

As one can imagine, this was also in the interest of Zain since it was an Innovation Program and was designed to find new ideas from fresh minds in the business.

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There have also been plenty of matchmaking programs in the area as well, the most popular of which was the Arab Supply Chain Impact Initiative. The event was held in Sharjah, where big, well-known names from various industries signed sixteen MoUs (Memoranda of Understanding) with SMEs and start-ups.

The Regional Business Council is the World Economic Forum’s representative body in the Middle East. As the body is made up of some of the largest industry leaders there, the promise they made last year about dedicating 10% of RBC’s procurement budget towards start-ups and small businesses by the end of 2020, holds enormous potential for business expansion, launching of new ventures and, of course, tremendous growth in employment opportunities.

The Demand for Experienced Business Executives will Reach New Heights

When the SMEs are getting bigger, the more established businesses are expanding and new start-ups are popping up everywhere, it would be only natural for the employment rates to spike up higher than ever before as well.

While there is already a need for employees in every sector and department, the demand for experienced business executives with proper management degrees is the highest in the premium job category.

Those that already have MBA degrees have a lot to look forward to and most likely are not short of excellent job opportunities right now. Those that have the necessary experience but not the management degree in business yet should consider the Suffolk University Online MBA Program. The AACSB Accredited MBA program offers students all around the world the opportunity to complete their internationally acclaimed MBA right from their home. Its flexible schedule means that even full-time employees can continue to gather work experience during the tenure of the course, thus making their resume even stronger.

Government Policies in the Middle East are Now Shaped by the Entrepreneurial Ventures

In 2018, Tunisia passed the Start-Up Reform Act which changed the country’s crippling policies for new and upcoming businesses forever. This was made possible through a joint effort by wise local ministers and a Tunisian business organization. As a result of this, Tunisia now completely supports not just the development of start-ups, but also allows room for international ventures by them.

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The Egypt Startups Manifesto, headed by Abdelhameed Shara, was presented in December 2018, and if it is acknowledged by the Egyptian government in the coming years, an extremely flourishing environment for SMEs and start-ups could be created in the country, the likes of which Egypt has not seen yet.

In partnership with the Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund (UAE), Lamsa seeks to support local entrepreneurs and the future of Arab children in Abu Dhabi. Lamsa itself is a start-up, but with the $550 million investment from Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund and the approval of the Ministry of Finance for further support, Lamsa is changing the scene for innovators in Abu Dhabi.

Perhaps the biggest and the boldest step was taken by Oman when the government actually decided to take the opinion of the start-ups while making any major decisions in the business department.

The Omani Public Authority of SME Development has multiple local entrepreneurs on it as board members so that better policies towards facilitating the growth of SMEs and new businesses can be designed and implemented in the country.

As the advent of start-ups in various sectors is now becoming a part of the Middle East’s government itself, a few intelligent predictions about the business scene in the region can be made with confidence.

Firstly, the Middle Eastern authorities have realized the importance of business modernization, at least to some degree. Secondly, the e-commerce sector that’s exclusive to the Middle Eastern countries is on the rise like never before.

Finally, one would have to conclude that the growth in the sector will also need adequate support from educated and qualified employees. Given the current number of skilled workers required for the developing economies is quite minuscule, the opportunities for qualified local and foreign workers are tremendous in the Middle East right now.

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