The event in the capital of United Arab Emirates was introduced by a representative of the head of Heriot-Watt’s Dubai Campus, Professor Ammar Kaka, followed by presentations from Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Development, Khalifa Fund and a presentation of the research by Professor Galloway.
The project, sponsored by Abu Dhabi Education Council, explores SME activity in UAE and was prompted by ambition within the Emirate for diversification in the economy. The purpose of the paper was to examine the performance of SMEs with a view to informing how best they might be supported to encourage enterprises and entrepreneurship growth.
Following two stages of research, quantitative economic examination of the SME landscape in UAE and qualitative exploration of firms in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the academics offer specific recommendations for policy and practice to support innovation. Other findings address risk, autonomy, burdens of bureaucracy and access to finance.
Laura Galloway, Professor of Business & Enterprise, co-author of the research said:
“We are delighted to conduct and present this project. We hope the research informs practice and policy with a view to supporting the ambitions to develop a diversified and entrepreneurial business sector in Abu Dhabi.“
Led by Professor Galloway, the project was co-authored by Dr Hajer Zarrouk, Higher Collage of Technology, Dr Mohamed Sherif, School of Social Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Dr Elarbi Elkaroui, Emirates College of Technology and Mr Anas Al Mulla, also from the Emirates College of Technology.
The research paper can be accessed here