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02 March 2024

New initiative to boost Emirati entrepreneurship

By Shuchita Kapur

In its efforts to increase employment among the country’s citizens, the Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development (ADCED) has announced the launch of the fourth phase of its initiative; Akoun, its first workshop in Dubai University, developed with the aim to inspire the next generation of Emirati entrepreneurs and empower them to enter the SME sector.

Akoun brings together government organisations and top-level Emirati entrepreneurs to collectively promote private enterprise to students across the UAE. With young Emiratis more interested in entrepreneurship than ever before, Akoun provides them with knowledge, resources and guidance to turn their ideas into reality and set up their own businesses, said a statement.

Encouraging entrepreneurship among Emirati youth lies in line with the UAE’s government strategic goals to develop a strong private sector.

“We will continue to play a key role in educating the youth, guiding them to establish their own businesses, and support new entrepreneurs across the UAE,” the statement read.

Of late, there have been many initiatives by the government to increase employment among the local workforce.

The recently concluded, Tawdheef Recruitment Show in Abu Dhabi was held to offer jobs opportunities primarily to the citizens. The 2013 show welcomed thousands of qualified Emirati professionals who visited to meet more than 100 companies from an array of industry sectors including banking, finance, healthcare, telecommunications, oil & gas and many others.

In a bid to increase the number of local nationals working in the private sector, the UAE is also considering changes to the existing Labour Law, which will ensure that those working in private companies will receive salaries equivalent to ones being paid by the government in similar positions.

The increase in salaries will be coupled with a greater number of holidays to those working in the private sector, a move aimed to make private jobs more attractive to Emiratis.