The UAE remains the regional hub for entrepreneurship in the Middle East, attracting 35.5% of the pre-seed start-ups. It was followed by Egypt with 26.5% in sectors ranging from e-commerce, fintech, healthcare and marketplaces.
The research was published by start-up enabler Wamda, in collaboration with STEP Conference, the technology festival for emerging markets. It was based on data from more than 600 pre-seed start-ups operating in the region.
“The findings generated from the report are a testimony of the great achievements the region has been undergoing in graduating business ideas and creative companies,” said STEP CEO Ray Dargham.
“It also shows that the UAE has become the home for start-ups to set up their businesses. This falls in line with the UAE’s vision to become the preferred destination for global talents and entrepreneurs, through many initiatives and projects aimed at turning Dubai into a nexus for business and an integrated investment environment.”
According to the survey, entrepreneurs in the Middle East are typically university-educated, aged 25-35 with substantial experience in the corporate world. The majority of investment is from founders, who are bootstrapping their start-ups with help from friends and family. The report also said the region still lacks a gender balance, with women accounting for just a quarter of founders.
Wamda editorial director Triska Hamid said: “Encouraging entrepreneurship is vital to the development of the Middle East’s economy, and so better access to such kind of data will enable all the different stakeholders to take action.”