When the economy surpasses politics, a nation of entrepreneurs rises
On July 7, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, vice president and prime minister of the UAE, announced that Emiratis would be given paid leave from government jobs to start their own companies as part of the NAFIS initiative to get 75,000 nationals into the private sector.
This drive is a true example of leading the change; this is the entrepreneurialization of a nation, allowing a cluster of highly educated government staff to advance from a job-seeker to a job-creator mindset slowly. This move is the large-scale transformation of the human workforce into entrepreneurialism.
The advantages of such implementations are apparent. It transforms bureaucracies into entrepreneurialism, upskills human talent to uplift economic growth and reduces government costs while growing entrepreneurial citizenry.
The UAE is an exceptional example of mobilizing such ideas and being able to deploy such entrepreneurial drives for other nations to take a closer look.
It allows the world to take notice, as over a billion highly qualified professionals work across government offices worldwide.
While national leadership would love to transfer the high costs, the question remains if it would be worth transforming 25 percent of workers into 250 million new entrepreneurs. Such an entrepreneurial force will shudder national productivity.
This thought also fits the new digital future, as for the first time in the last 100 years, the facilities and opportunities to become an entrepreneur are now the lowest-hanging fruits.
Nevertheless, a nation tackling such mandates demands a solid range of experiences and authoritative, entrepreneurial job creator mindsets.
Toward a nation of entrepreneurs
There is also no entrepreneurialism without entrepreneurial mindsets and a national mandate, with giant sandboxes for young, old and new entrepreneurs.
The ecosystem must foster entrepreneurs to innovate and eventually win with extraordinary success and growth options.
The entrepreneurialization of any nation is a real-time mobilization of small and medium companies on digital platforms to teach additional skills to exporters and manufacturers to improve innovation and exportability.
To an architect, a skyscraper is a systematic execution of bricks and mortar layering inch by inch, floor by floor. Fearless and with full knowledge and command, such tasks are delivered. Skyscrapers stand tall and shine.
To a novice without skills, building skyscrapers is the most frightening challenge of piling up bricks, hoping they stay together at any height. The fears are enough to kill the projects. Hence entrepreneurialism is often so feared in government agencies.
Therefore, it is all about the right skill set for the right mandates. If the economy is the top agenda of any nation, it needs the best of the entrepreneurial job creator mindsets at the top of the execution chain.
A quick test across any country or economic development department will reveal that you need a job-creator mindset to deliver a national mobilization program.
Nevertheless, there is no need to blame the current economic development teams. After all, it is the national leadership that made politics a top priority over economics. Unfortunately, in most cases, it could not connect job-creator and job-seeker mindsets and build a thriving entrepreneurship landscape.
Bridging the gap
So, how does one bridge the gap? Acquire authoritative knowledge and skills to articulate such narratives across the national teams and orient them on the priorities required to become an entrepreneurial economy.
Disperse the power of digitization so that 25-50 percent of the SME sector are identified, selected and qualified for digitization and further trained to stand up to the global age of competitiveness.
Lead by starting a culture of constant disruption, constant learning and constant advancements so that a small cluster of economic development teams will become the main drivers for new creative campaigns.
Create a national mandate and timelines national agenda for a national mobilization of entrepreneurialism.
Special consideration for all the untapped women's entrepreneurial talents and the emerging youth across the nation must be given.
Is all this difficult? Yes, but doable, with the right mindsets. Such programs are not necessarily dependent on new funds but are deployment-hungry and execution-starved. The rest is easy.