In February this year , the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor released its 2020 index , which measures cultural , social and governmental factors to determine how suited an environment is for the creation and growth of a business . The United Arab Emirates ( UAE ) was proclaimed first regionally and fourth globally , outperforming the US and several European nations , including the UK and Germany .
Then in July , Dubai announced the launch of the National Program for Programmers , which enlists the help of some of the world ’ s biggest names in tech – such as Google , Microsoft , Amazon , IBM and Facebook – to turbocharge the UAE ’ s digital economy by training 100,000 programmers , creating 1,000 digital companies in a five-year period and increasing investment in UAE startups from US $ 400 million to US $ 1.1 billion .
This is what it means to be a champion for entrepreneurs .
The UAE invests heavily in incubators , accelerators and mentorship initiatives such as Hub71 , which concentrates on helping businesses become the best they can be , putting them in touch with investors and arranging access to markets . But regional success stories like Careem , Souq . com and Kitopi do not come about solely on the basis of strong support from the government . Their founders followed a certain path with certain milestones .
1 . Stay focused
Entrepreneurs should always define their company ’ s purpose within the context of its customers . Mission , vision , operations , messaging – everything should be built around the customer . Often in business – especially since digital technologies introduced new agility to industries – we hear the word ‘ pivot .’ Reacting to changing markets is certainly tempting when you operate in a competitive space but leaping before you are ready is not prudent .
Keeping your focus often means saying ‘ no ’ more often than you say ‘ yes .’ In the era of Digital Transformation , more and more businesses do not begin life in a factory , mall or high street ; they are born in the cloud and surrounded by opportunities to build out their capacities . But always remember the fundamentals .
Any pivoting should align with customer needs , with the value proposition of the change put front and centre .
None of this best practice stops you from prototyping and experimenting but such testing should occur in such a way as to not drain resources from your core areas . If your experiments bear fruit , then they can deliver value in future operations , but your feasibility studies should not be thought of as core operations .
2 . Raise capital
Maintaining a flow of funding for the business is the primary focus of any successful entrepreneur . You will close one round , only to focus on the next . Rejection is part of the story , so get used to it . But use every pitch as an opportunity to strengthen your pipeline and learn more about – and categorise – your potential investors . Some will be risk-averse and need to be convinced of your ability to hedge . Others will be more ambitious and need to be dazzled by your vision . Narratives must be tailored to the audience .
Take advantage of any accelerators and incubation schemes that may help . Hub71 , Dubai FinTech Hive and Dubai Future Accelerators are fine examples of government-run initiatives that get founders ready for their VC pitches , by ensuring their offerings ’ market fit .
3 . Spend wisely
Today , markets are focused very differently to what they were even five years ago . While growing sales is always important , in the age of analytics and app ecosystems , B2C entrepreneurs are focused on product metrics such as user acquisition and retention rates . Choosing the right metrics for your business can be as important as anything you do so ensure you focus on market fit .
Meanwhile , founders of B2B enterprises can still drive initial revenue by being sales-driven , so they should direct their expenditure towards acquiring and retaining the best sales talent .
Beyond initial growth though , companies should look to their marketing function . Whether B2B
IN THE ERA OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION , MORE AND MORE BUSINESSES DO NOT BEGIN LIFE IN A FACTORY , MALL OR HIGH STREET ; THEY ARE BORN IN THE CLOUD AND SURROUNDED BY OPPORTUNITIES TO BUILD OUT THEIR CAPACITIES .