lThe UAE ranks first worldwide in the latest Global Entrepreneurship Index (GEI), outperforming major global economies such as the US, the UK, Japan, Canada, South Korea and some EU countries.

Last year, the Emirates placed fourth in the GEI rankings, which are compiled by London-based researcher Global Entrepreneurship Monitor.

“Of the 47 participating economies, national expert assessments suggest that the UAE has the most supportive environment for entrepreneurship and Sudan the least supportive,” the report said.

The UAE has the highest total score by a clear margin, having improved in 11 of the 13 framework conditions and scored highest of all 47 economies in four of them.

With the high score of 6.8, the UAE was named the best place to start a new business, followed by the Netherlands (6.3), Finland (6.2), Saudi Arabia (6.1), Lithuania (6.1) and South Korea (5.7).

“The UAE is the only economy to have scored as sufficient or more for all framework conditions. These changes are the direct result of policy adjustments that have moved increasingly to promoting business conditions for entrepreneurs,” the report added.

The report evaluated various framework conditions such as availability of entrepreneurial finance, ease of access to entrepreneurial finance, government policy, entrepreneurial education at school, research and development transfers, ease of entry, and social and cultural norms.

The highest levels of new job expectations were in Qatar, Chile and the UAE, each with one in 10 of adults or more both starting or running a new business and expecting to employ six or more people in five years’ time.

Last year, about 73.5 per cent of “Emiratis saw good opportunities to start a business where they lived” — up from 62.1 per cent in 2020. More than 61 per cent of people in the UAE reported that they had the skills, knowledge, and experience to start a business, compared with 54.7 per cent in 2020.

The UAE received high scores on most of its framework conditions, “which may help explain the improvement in entrepreneurial attitudes,” said the report.

“This will need to be sustained, or even improved, to meet the country’s entrepreneurial goals of developing high-impact start-ups, which tend to be extremely capital-intensive,” the report added.

“Even if access to finance were to stay at its current levels, however, this should benefit those new businesses that would like to become established in the next few years.”

The Emirates also scored high in indicators such as the availability of good opportunities to start a business, the availability of skills, knowledge and experience to start a business, confidence in the ability to meet the challenges posed by Covid-19, plans to use digital technology to develop business and the ability of entrepreneurship projects in the country to generate new jobs.

“This prestigious achievement can be attributed to the unconditional support and the forward-looking vision of the UAE’s wise leadership,” state-run news agency Wam quoted the UAE Minister of Economy Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri as saying.

“We are proud of this feat, which is a result of our wise leadership’s long-term vision that has put the entrepreneurship sector at the forefront.

“The global leadership that the country has achieved today confirms the soundness of this approach, the strength of government economic policies and the efficiency of the private sector, especially the success rates enjoyed by the entrepreneurship sector and SMEs in the UAE.”

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