International Journal of Entrepreneurship (Print ISSN: 1099-9264; Online ISSN: 1939-4675)


Barriers and Enablers of Innovation in United Arab Emirates (UAE) Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Sector

Author(s): Dr.AbdulQuddus Mohammed

UAE is ranked number one in the Arab World and 38th country globally in Global Innovation Index ranking in 2018. The country positioned itself positively in these global indices reflects the developments in knowledge and technology outputs, business, market and infrastructure development in UAE due to push by the government policies on making UAE as a global hub for innovation. The purpose of this study is to draw on issues related to innovation practices and their antecedents (external-driven and internal-driven determinants) and impact on business growth performance in small and medium firms in the United Arab Emirates.. This study investigates the enabling factors to innovation practices for SMEs to support higher business growth performance in the emerging in the United Arab Emirates. Between primary data and secondary data, the researcher has collected primary data from 80 people in UAE that are working in SMEs or have their own start-up or are planning to start their entrepreneurial venture. The preliminary results from the study shows that there is a strong relationship between the variables and the growth of the SME sector in the region of UAE is dependent on the different barriers and enablers of innovation. Major enabler is the UAE governments positive attitude towards innovation through its innovation strategy that recognizes innovation as an important element of social and economic development in UAE. Important enabler is the competitive technology resources for the communication and sharing of knowledge among educational, research institutions and innovation incubators. Most importantly the introduction of new funding options for the innovative business ideas for the individuals and companies. NIS also focus on developing innovators with entrepreneurial spirit by proving opportunities of skill development through the development of innovative curricula in schools and universities and launching innovative competitions. UAE government aims to help the innovative SMEs in developing, promoting and commercializing their innovations and improving their global market accessibility. The outcome of this study will enable the policy and decision makers at SMEs and the government agencies to minimize the barriers of innovation in UAE based SMEs.

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