MUSCAT, (DNA) – Over two-thirds (68 per cent) of Oman residents prefer to be self-employed/have their own business if given the choice, a new survey has found. The ‘Entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa 2017’ survey conducted by Bayt.com and YouGov has found that even among those who are employed, 86 per cent of said that they are either thinking of starting a business or have already attempted do so in the past. When it comes to being self-employed, nearly half (45 per cent) want to be their own boss; 40 per cent believe it gives them the freedom to choose what to work on and work-life balance, as well as the ability to give back to the community (40 per cent).
Those who have already started their business seem to have similar reasoning. When asked about the reasons Middle East and North Africa (MENA) professionals having started their own business, the top three reasons were: greater independence in what they want to achieve (32 per cent), more income (29 per cent) and a better work-life balance (28 per cent).
On the other hand, 21 per cent of the workforce in Oman want to work for pay/seek employment in a company. For them, the most important factor to work for a company is regular income (46 per cent). Moreover, 42 per cent of respondents said that they lack finances to start their own business, while 33 per cent of respondents think that working for a company gives them the opportunity to learn new skills and techniques.
The current entrepreneurial scene in MENA
Out of those who are self-employed in the MENA region, 68 per cent have started their own business in the last five years, 17 per cent have started their own business in the last ten years, while 15 per cent have started more than 15 years ago.
Many entrepreneurs are looking to grow their startups and establish business.
Thirty-six per cent of respondents have personal ambitions to obtain more growth and profitability in their country of residence, followed by 22 per cent who aim to become a major international group. In fact, with growth in mind, 66 per cent of surveyed entrepreneurs are planning to hire within the next year.
“Many countries across MENA have realised that entrepreneurship is a huge factor that drives growth and innovation in the economy,” said Suhail Masri, vice president of Sales, Bayt.com. “As the survey showed, many entrepreneurs are seen as a source of value, innovation, and creating employment opportunities. Many startups are looking to hire and grow their businesses very soon.”
Ease of starting a business
Forty-four per cent of Oman respondents believe that any time is a good time to start a business, while 38 per cent believe the best time is mid-career. Only nine per cent think that the best time to start a business is after a ‘lengthy career’ and only eight per cent recommend doing so ‘right after college/university’.