Al Ain: H.E. Zaki Nusseibeh, Cultural Adviser to H.H. the President of the UAE and Chancellor of the UAE University today addressed the global launch of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report, following opening remarks by H.E. Dr. Ahmad Belhoul, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises.
He said, “The UAEU is also proud to spearhead the GEM research within the UAE. The GEM report provides data on entrepreneurial activity, infrastructure, and trends that is needed by decision makers at all levels and all sectors to understand and take action, whether in academic research, policy formation, financial investment and spending, or international organisation and thought leadership. The UAE’s contribution to the globally networked GEM infrastructure also demonstrates our wish to foster and forge the international collaborations that provide for future security, stability, and sustainability”.
The Chancellor explained the importance of the occasion, saying, “Entrepreneurship has been a central feature of UAE policy and strategy since the foundation of the nation. Entrepreneurs are transformational leaders, able to convince people that change is possible and worthwhile. We are blessed to have had such leaders at the helm, from the beginning. To build the economic, social, and environmental infrastructure that we enjoy today, the UAE has required entrepreneurial skills of innovation, critical problem-solving, and risk-taking. We have relied on the investments of entrepreneurs in establishing SMEs to diversify and make sustainable the economic fabric of the country. We have invested in the creative sector, providing the infrastructure to support cultural industries that stimulate us to imagine alternative possibilities.
In affirmation of the Minister’s opening words, Chancellor Nusseibeh said, “Entrepreneurship is vital to the future development of the UAE. It is for this reason that we have the National Entrepreneurship Agenda 2031 and the Fifty Economic Plan which set the goal for the UAE to achieve global recognition for its robust entrepreneurial ecosystem. Yet these documents recognise that today, entrepreneurship and national economic development are policy agendas that are essentially interconnected to global sustainability in economic, social and environmental domains. They also recognise that such global sustainability depends on entrepreneurial thought and action. We continue to require people who are able to critically analyse complex problems and create innovative solutions. We continue to require people who are able to take the risk to invest in change. We continue to require transformational leaders, able to persuade others to change their expectations, attitudes, and actions”.
Wishing to place the focus on entrepreneurship in the context of the university’s mission, he said, “As the University of the Future the UAEU provides the educational and research accelerators to drive forward the UAE’s national priorities and principles for the next 50 years. The University’s research activity is geared to outcomes such as patents, translation to industry, and blue skies innovation. We drive future sustainability by offering practical solutions to improve inclusion and cohesion in social, environmental, and commercial affairs. We link to and progress international agendas for advanced technology and the fourth industrial revolution. We partner with industry, government, and communities to identify the transformations needed for long-term development”.
The Chancellor also explained that the UAEU’s infrastructure and R&D activity in support of entrepreneurship builds a stock of intellectual resources that directly inform the entrepreneurial assets of the educational programs that students follow. He said, “We therefore graduate young people who have skills of innovation, critical problem-solving, and risk-taking, and the aptitudes of flexibility and leadership. These graduates are the future generations who, having grown up in a culture of entrepreneurship, will establish the UAE as a global entrepreneurship hub for professionals, independent business-people from all over the world, and new ventures”.
The Chancellor expressed his gratitude to the authors of the GEM report. He said, “I commend the work of all those who have contributed to the production of this wonderful resource on entrepreneurship in the UAE. I also commend the wider network of international partners who provide similar inputs for other nations. Let us remember that the sustainability of our future is mutually dependent and interconnected.”
Dr. Aileen Ionescu-Somers, GEM Executive Director:
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) congratulates the United Arab Emirates for achieving the highest score (6.8) on the GEM National Entrepreneurship Conditions Index (NECI), ranking first globally for the year 2021-2022.