Dubai School of Government has released a study on Social Media and Entrepreneurship in Middle East. The study focuses on how is Social Media perceived among businesses in the region, its drawbacks and benefits and how are entrepreneurs using it.
When entrepreneurs were asked what is the primary use of Social Media in their organization, 90% of the respondents consider it as a great as a promotional tool for tasks such as advertising and marketing, as well as an outreach tool (86%).
Only a small percentage (between 2% and 3%) of entrepreneurs indicated that using social media for crowd-sourcing and crowd-funding was the top priority within their enterprises.
Overall, 86% of the respondents are in agreement that Social Media is an important tool for start ups The below table compares the perceived importance of social media for a start up within a country, to the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and ‘Starting a Business’ rankings with a country. Interestingly there is an inverse relationship between the ‘ease of doing business’ in a country v/s importance of Social Media. For e.g. countries with the highest percentage of agreement, such as Lebanon and Egypt, have some of the lowest rankings among the Arab countries for ‘Ease of Doing Business’, while the UAE and Saudi Arabia, with some of the lowest degrees of agreement on the importance of social media for businesses actually are in favor of using Social Media.
In the below table is listed various drawbacks to using social media in business. Most of the entrepreneurs feel top drawback to use social media in business is lack of government regulation and legal infrastructure. Interestingly many entrepreneurs feel that investors are not comfortable with social media based business models.
Data Source - Dubai School of Government.
Click here to download the complete report.