WISE Research Report on Entrepreneurship Education: A subject of relevance for the UAE

Monday 18 April 2016

Dubai - MENA Herald: The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), the leading global initiative driving innovation and collaboration in education, has recently published ‘Entrepreneurship Education: A Global Consideration From Practice to Policy Around the World’ in partnership with the experts from Babson College, in the USA.

The report, part of the WISE Research series, examines the growing role of entrepreneurship education as a driver of economic growth and provides recommendations to inform policy makers and practitioners to successfully support it. One of the key findings draws attention to the importance of developing efficient entrepreneurship education for all learners in primary, secondary and tertiary levels to successfully instil “twenty first century” skills, in addition to venture creation skills for future generations.

Dr Patricia Greene, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Babson College, said, “Studies such as the WISE report on Entrepreneurship Education are critically important in that they help us understand – and act upon – the things that are universal about efforts to support entrepreneurial growth – as well as those things that must be different in different places and for different people.”

The findings of the report are highly relevant for the UAE, which has a large number of young entrepreneurs with an average age of 26 who are launching independent businesses. Dr Greene further emphasized the importance of entrepreneurship education for the UAE. “Entrepreneurship education is a vital force in the UAE in order to help men and women recognize business opportunities, encourage an increased number of start-ups, and support the successful growth of those businesses. This report is therefore of particular relevance for those living in the UAE, providing a pathway to more diverse economic opportunities and outcomes for all.”

Jamie McAuliffe, President and CEO of Education For Employment – Global, and H.E. Ameera BinKaram, Chairperson of the Sharjah Business Women Council, stated that the UAE entrepreneurship ecosystem has blossomed in the past five to seven years. In their opinion, collective encouragement and backing of all key players in the government, corporate and education sectors were the key drivers. They further said, “Today in the UAE, we see a wide range of entrepreneurship-related events and fora intended both to raise awareness of entrepreneurship as a viable pathway for youth, and also to encourage further innovative collaboration between government-established businesses and fresh startups. Universities and related startup support organizations based in the main cities have played a leading role in developing the entrepreneurship ecosystem to this point.”

The importance of the government’s support of enterprise education initiatives was reiterated by Mr Badr Jaafar, Chief Executive Officer of UAE’s Crescent Enterprises: “The UAE is home to a number of government-backed zones and initiatives, including most recently the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre, known as Sheraa, situated on the campus of the American University of Sharjah – that are mandated to support the education and incubation of entrepreneurs. Policy statements such as UAE Vision 2021, which in part seeks to stimulate home-grown entrepreneurship, and the National Innovation Strategy, which identifies renewable energy, transport, education, health, technology, water and space as focus areas for the future, also provide important signals to the local private sector.”

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